JUNEAU, Alaska — The Sealaska Heritage Institute has started a program that mixes Alaska Native art with high school math.

The program seeks to encourage the next generation of artists in the Northwest Coast art traditions of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian, KTOO-FM reported Thursday.

Sealaska Heritage Institute, the University of Alaska Southeast and several Southeast school districts have signed on to the art-math program.

Sealaska Heritage is calling the program “Sharing our Box of Treasures.” It was funded by a federal grant.

Partners will work to incorporate the geometry and algebra concepts involved in formline design into high school math classes.

It also establishes an associate degree program in Northwest Coast arts at the University of Anchorage Southeast. The goal is for students studying Native art at the university to then be able to transfer to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to complete four-year degrees. This partnership is a continuation of one that began last year.

“It’s a way that we may not be able to offer the full four-year degree but by offering the two-year degree it creates a pathway for someone who is interested in that topic,” university spokeswoman Keni Campbell said.

High school students in Juneau, Hoonah and Klawock will eventually be able to take courses in formline design at their schools while receiving dual credit at the university.


Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org