Dennis Demmert donates book collection to Tlingit-Haida

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska recently received a book collection from distinguished Tlingit educator Dennis Demmert.

    More than 300 books from Demmert’s personal collection were donated in support of the Tribe’s effort to establish a library. His book collection was built over the course of his life and represents his interests and areas of scholarly study.

    The collection is a variety of both educational publications, curriculum materials on topics such as tribal management, historical books on Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures and contemporary publications relating to socio-cultural issues.

    “Professor Demmert’s life has been dedicated to improving the education, employment, and wellbeing of all Native people,” shared Tlingit & Haida President Richard (Chalyee Éesh) Peterson. “This invaluable donation represents the dedication he continues to have for our people and it couldn’t have come at a more pivotal moment. Our Cultural Heritage & Education department has been working very hard to re-establish a library and build a solid foundation of resources that supports the Tribe’s vision to create a tribal college.”

    Professor Demmert’s Tlingit name is Gunkasíxht and he is Teeyeeneidi from the Raven Dog Salmon House of Tuxekan. He was born and raised in Klawock and attended Sheldon Jackson High School and Junior College before attending the University of Chicago. His career mainly focused on education. He served over twenty years as the Director of Native Studies for the University of Alaska Fairbanks and formerly served as the Executive Director of Sealaska Heritage Foundation and Director of Native Studies at Sheldon Jackson College. Among many other notable public service roles, he served as an Elder Advisor to Tlingit & Haida to help lay the groundwork for the development of a Southeast Alaska Tribal College.

    To properly store the collection, bookcases were purchased under an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant. The books will be permanently housed at the Tribe’s Vocational Training & Resource Center located at 3239 Hospital Drive in Juneau, Alaska.

    For more information on the private book collection donation or Tlingit & Haida’s library, contact Cultural Heritage & Education Director Sarah Dybdahl at 463-7105 or



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