JUNEAU, AK (July 27, 2017) – Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) is pleased to announce Sarah Dybdahl as the Tribe’s new Cultural Heritage & Education Manager. In this position, Sarah will oversee the coordination of Tlingit & Haida’s cultural activities and develop cultural programs in collaboration with tribes and other Native entities.
The newly created Cultural Heritage & Education department was established to strengthen Tlingit & Haida’s nationhood. It reflects the principle that our communities, lands and tribal citizens thrive when our culture is our foundation. The department will incorporate ancestral knowledge to strengthen our languages, arts and cultural practices for the well-being of our people and government.
"This is a historic expansion for the Tribe that moves to incorporate our cultures as a basis for governing," said President Richard
Peterson. "It means that we value our cultures as the keystone for our well-being and for safeguarding our sovereign tribal government for future generations. One cannot exist without the other. Sarah brings the right mix of experience, dedication, vision and cultural knowledge to build this department from the ground up."
Sarah formerly served as the Executive Director of Huna Heritage Foundation (2015-2017) and worked over 15 years in various capacities for Sealaska and Sealaska Heritage Institute (2000-2015). She currently serves on the Klawock Heenya Corporation Board of Directors (since 2010), the Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors as the Southeast Village Representative, and Native Americans in Philanthropy Board.
"I am honored to join Tlingit & Haida," said Sarah Dybdahl. "There are many exciting initiatives with our languages and way of life happening in our region and within Tlingit & Haida. I look forward to continuing to serve our people alongside those who are dedicated to preserving our cultural heritage.”
Sarah grew up in Klawock, Alaska and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Southern Oregon University. Her Tlingit name is
and she is from the
clan. She is the daughter of Linda and Arthur (Mac) Demmert Jr. and granddaughter of belated Virginia and Arthur Demmert, Sr. She is married to Travis Dybdahl and is mother to three children – Michaela, Orion and Elias.