The Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF) has announced a $75,000 grant to the Sealaska Heritage Institute to assist with the construction of the Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau, Alaska.
The Walter Soboleff Center will be built in downtown Juneau and will display Native artwork, house classrooms for language and cultural education, provide multipurpose space for hosting cultural events, and feature a climate-controlled space to ensure preservation of ethnographic collections and archives.
"We are honored to receive this generous donation from the cruise industry to help us build the Walter Soboleff Center," said Rosita Worl, president of Sealaska Heritage Institute. "Partnering with the cruise industry makes sense. Not only will we be able to utilize the facility to help perpetuate and enhance the cultures and languages of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian tribes, we will be able to help educate and share our culture with tens of thousands of visitors."
CLIA-Alaska President John Binkley said, "The cruise industry has been honored in supporting many charitable organizations throughout Alaska and we are pleased to be able to assist in the development of the Walter Soboleff Center which will promote the great heritage of Alaska."
CICF, which is supported by cruise line members of Cruise Lines International Association, was formed to help improve the quality of life in the communities served by the cruise industry, through supporting non-profit activities which enhance educational opportunities, improve literacy, encourage job creation and improve access to community services.
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has been raising funds for the construction of the Walter Soboleff Center for three years. With over $16,000,000 secured to date of the $20,000,000 needed, SHI is moving forward with the selection of a general contractor and hopes to begin construction in July 2013.
"A lot of hard work has gone into making this project a reality and we are excited to begin construction this year," said Byron Mallott, chair of the Walter Soboleff Center Capital Campaign Committee. "The Center will truly be a treasured space where we can preserve many aspects of the Native culture, as well as grow the awareness and respect for these cultures."