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Inian Online Journal

Bottomless Halibut and the Art of Persuasion

Five sun rises and six sun sets went by in the in the blink of an eye.

The 2018 Environmental Rhetoric course brought together 12 students, of all ages, from all walks of life. The unifying factor? A deep love and fierce passion to protect the natural spaces of our world.

The course was based around the book Across the Shaman’s River, and taught by the author, Dan Henry. For six days, we discussed the themes of the book that centered around John Muir, Wilderness, Indigenous people of the region, and above all, rhetoric. The art of using all available means to persuade.

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Back to Alaska

Lexie Hayes, one of our very first Homesteading Residents, recounts how she and her family — partner Colter, and daughter Jordan — changed everything to return education in Alaska… this time, in the Wilderness. 

It was one of those rare mornings when I woke up before Colter and was laying in bed, bored out of my mind, but not wanting to get up and wake him, too. So I did what any city-dweller would (we were in Lewiston, Idaho at the time…) Read more

Nettles

Inian Executive Director, Zach Brown, recounts a tale of nettle gathering and its significance for the Institute and the history of the Inian Islands.

“Crawl back into those bushes. That’s it – really get in there.” On our hands and knees, we groped through the prickly brambles of salmonberry, searching for the even more prickly (and slightly toxic) stinging nettle.

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Celebrate with us at the Inian Islands Shindig!

We’ve done it! After three years of fundraising, and a couple years of imagination before that, Inian Islands Institute has finally gathered the full $1 million to purchase the Hobbit Hole property, this incredibly special homestead in the Alaskan wilds.

There’s only one thing left to do: Party!

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Inian as New Stewards of a Permanent Home

The Hobbit Hole homestead, with deep roots as a Tlingit summer camp and more recently a fisherman’s haven, is now a field school for education, science, sustainability, community & culture.

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Journeys with The Nueva School

In July, students from The Nueva School journeyed to Inian to learn first-hand about wilderness, global climate change, and ways of creating positive change in the world. Click the video, created by Josh Newman, to travel with them through their story.

Harker School to Inian Islands Institute

Inian welcomes guest writer Edwin Su, a high school student from Harker School in San Jose, California. Edwin and his classmates participated last July in the first high-school-age programming at Inian Islands Institute. 

Coming from an extremely urban background in the Silicon Valley, I never stopped to think where everything I consumed came from. The food that I ate, the energy I used, and the technology that fueled my everyday life was all a mystery to me despite how much I depended on them. My curiosity of the sources of these needs grew when I read the description of a course that was going to be taught at my high school in the summer. It was titled “Human Ecology: Our Place in Nature,” and it focused on educating students about how the environment is affected by people. Read more

Work Work

Inian welcomes guest writer Peter Forbes, co-founder of the Center for Whole Communities in Vermont and Vice President of Inian Islands Institute’s Board of Directors. This post chronicles Inian’s Work Party, 2016. 

3 people on their bellies hauling rock and sediment, 4 people replacing a rotten beam under a hundred-year-old shop, 6 people building a round deck in the pouring rain, 2 people struggling material up from shore, 3 people weeding an overgrown garden, 3 people cooking gorgeous food: work.  We can’t underestimate the power of this work.

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Meetings in Hoonah

“Are you all from Inian Islands Institute?”  A tall, smiling man approached and extended his hand.  “I’m Jeff Skaflestad.”

“Jeff!” my companions exclaimed, shunning his handshake for a hug.  We had just touched down in Hoonah, the nearest native village of the Tlingit people, who have lived in what would come to be called Southeast Alaska for thousands of years.  Our charter flight from Gustavus only took about 20 minutes, flying across Icy Strait from the mainland to Chichagof Island. Read more

Listen to Our Story

Inian Islands Institute was featured on Indie Alaska!  Let this breathtaking video, created by Hanna Craig, take you on a journey through our story, from our origins through the bright spark of our future.