Through Tlingit and Haida memorial ceremonies the loss of a clan member is acknowledged and strength and healing are offered in reciprocal speeches. These ceremonies are the principal cultural and spiritual settings in which oratory occurs.
This instructional manual was developed by Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Council of Traditional Scholars and Rosita Kaahani Worl, Ph.D., to provide a guide for younger clan leaders and spokespersons. It provides an overview of traditional oratory and key components of traditional ceremonies. SHI’s Council of Traditional Scholars emphasizes that it recognizes that the Tlingit and Haida, communities, and clans may have differing procedures but the basic components of the ceremonies are similar. This manual is not intended to replace existing tribal, community, or clan practices.
Sealaska Heritage's Box of Knowledge series consists of essays, reports, and books that institute considers should be made available as a contribution to studies on Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures, history, and languages. They may be based on work carried out by researchers working in collaboration with SHI, contributions prepared by external experts, and work by staff.
For more on SHI's publications, visit https://www.sealaskaheritage.org/institute/culture-and-history/programs/research-and-publications