President's Dream Colloquium on Protecting Indigenous Cultural Heritage, Spring 2015
Speaker: Rosita Worl
Note: We regretfully report that there were a few technical difficulties at the beginning of the recording, and approximately 10 minutes were not recorded. Most of that content is available in her powerpoint file, below.
Rosita Worl's Powerpoint file
Dr. Rosita Kaahani Worl, of the Ch’áak’(Eagle moiety of the Shangukeidi Clan from the Kawdi-yaayi Hít of Klukwan, and a Child of the Sockeye Clan), is president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, which is dedicated to preserving and maintaining the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures and languages; and a board member of Sealaska Corporation. Worl also serves on the Alaska Native Brotherhood Subsistence Committee and the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indians Economic Development Commission.
She has authored numerous publications on Alaska Native issues and cultural practices including subsistence lifestyles, Alaska Native women’s issues, Indian law and policy and southeast Alaska Native culture and history.
Worl received her bachelor’s degree from Alaska Methodist University and her MA and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology from Harvard University. She has served as the social scientific researcher at the University of Alaska Arctic Environmental Information and Data Center, and conducted the first social scientific study projecting socio-cultural impacts of offshore oil development on the Inupiat.
She has also studied traditional aboriginal whaling. Dr. Worl also served as a scientific advisor to the U.S. Whaling Commission and has conducted research on seal hunting in Canada for the Royal Commission on Sealing. She served on the National Scientific Advisory Committee and the National Science Foundation Polar Programs Committee.
On a state and national level, Dr. Worl serves on the board of directors of the Alaska Federation of Natives and chairs the Subsistence Cultural Survival Committees, the National Museum of American Indians and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act National Committee.
She was special staff assistant for Native Affairs to Alaska Gov. Steve Cowper and served as a member of President Bill Clinton’s Northwest Sustainability Commission. Worl is a founding member of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and served as a member of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History Arctic Committee.
In addition to her academic and professional accomplishments, Worl is the recipient of numerous honors, including a Ford Foundation Fellowship (1972–1977), International Women’s Year Conference (1977), the Gloria Steinem Award for Empowerment (1989), Women of Hope (1997), Outstanding Contribution, Alaska Native Heritage Center (2000), Human Rights Award, Cultural Survival (2002), Women of Courage Award (NWPC 2003), Native People Award Enhancing the Native Alaskan Community, Wells Fargo (2004), National Museum of the Indian Smithsonian Institution Honor (2006), University of Alaska Southeast Commencement Speaker (2006), Distinguished Service to the Humanities Award (2008) Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities, Solon T. Kimball Award for Public and Applied Anthropology, American Anthropological Association (2008), Lifetime Achievement Award, Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (2011) and the Alaska Federation of Natives Citizen of the Year Award (2011).