Source: Associated Press
By RACHEL D’ORO
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska Native group spoke out Friday against a shamanism retreat, saying the event commercializes and exploits the spiritual healing practices of indigenous people.
The Juneau-based Sealaska Heritage Institute voiced its opposition to the pricey June retreat in a letter emailed Friday to the event sponsor, Dance of the Deer Foundation. The event — billed as the 24th in Alaska — is scheduled for June 22 to July 1 at an undisclosed lodge outside Juneau.
In the short letter, Heritage Institute president Rosita Worl calls the event “a violation of a most sacred tradition of Native peoples.” She asked that the foundation not come to the area that’s considered the ancient homeland of a Tlingit group.
Worl said the event appears to be another form of cultural appropriation.