Klawock School District receives the first partial funding to help pay for staffing, supplies, tools, and instruction needed to support the Sharing Our Box of Treasures project. From left are Jon Rowan, Jim Holien, Mary Richey and Kari Groven. (Sealaska photo by Eva Rowan)

Klawock High School students will have improved opportunities to learn Northwest Coast art in 2018. A new three-year program is the result of a cooperative effort between the Klawock City School District and Sealaska Heritage Institute.

According to Sealaska, the groups have agreed to work together to develop the district’s existing Northwest Coast art courses into a career-pathways course.

The program is called Sharing Our Box of Treasures. It’s funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Alaska Native Education Program.

Similar agreements have been signed with the Juneau and Hoonah school districts, and the University of Alaska Southeast, according to Sealaska.

The program will offer a two-year associate’s degree in NWC art at UAS. It will offer scholarships for qualified applicants. Another partnership in the works will eventually establish a four-year Northwest Coast degree through the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico.

According to Sealaska Heritage Institute, the program will kick off in the three participating communities this coming spring. It will offer community workshops; training for teachers; summer art and leadership academies for students; and training by visiting artists, scholars and elders.