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

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.

Jennifer Pemberton

Managing Editor, KTOO

I bring stories from the community into the KTOO newsroom so that all of our reporting matters. I want to hear my community’s struggles and its wins reflected in our coverage. Does our reporting reflect your experience in Juneau?

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