Cruise Town, Ep. 4: The Weight of the World

By November 26, 2019 December 3rd, 2019 Cruise Town

Sealaska Heritage Institute cultural interpreter John Lawrence talks to visitors at the institute’s Walter Soboleff Building in downtown Juneau, Sept. 5, 2019. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

The place we know as Juneau has been the home of the Aak’w Kwáan since time immemorial.

Tourists who are curious about this place — and the people who were here well before Cruise Town — often head to the visitor center at the Sealaska Heritage Institute.

When the visitor center opened about four years ago, they were getting so many tourists walking in off the street, that they decided to hire cultural interpreters to help out. And these interpreters are so much more than tour guides. Their task is to explain their history, their culture, their art — their existence — to someone who just got off a cruise ship.

And that’s what this episode of Cruise Town is about.

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