Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - A Fairbanks foundation has donated a Chilkat robe to Sealaska Heritage Institute in an effort to return it to its homeland.
The piece, which is small and apparently made for a child, was woven in the traditional way using cedar bark. The robe’s exact origins and the name of the weaver are unknown.
The Monroe Foundation donated it to the institute so it would be made available to weaving students to study. That's according to foundation president Amanda B. Angaiak. The nonprofit organization was established in 1958 to support and advance the goals and programs of the Catholic Schools of Fairbanks.
The foundation received the robe as a gift, and the piece is thought to be valued at $18,000, according to Angaiak.
SHI President Rosita Worl called the donation “breathtaking" and is grateful to the foundation. She said it may be studied by artists for many years to come and will be cared for to the highest standards.
In response, Worl said they are mailing educational materials to the foundation, including books from its award-winning Baby Raven Reads series.