07 November 2004

Kasaan Haida Heritage Foundation Project

This looks to be a worthy project, please lend it your support.


You may know that before Christopher Columbus arrived in the new world,
the Indians in North America spoke over 300 indigenous languages. Today,
roughly 20 of these languages have speakers of all ages. Unfortunately, the
Haida language of Kasaan, Alaska is not among them.

Currently, only seven Kasaan Haidas speak the Kasaan Haida dialect with
varying degrees of fluency--all elders over the age of 75. I know this because
my dad grew up in Kasaan, 25 miles from my birthplace of Ketchikan, Alaska.
We belong to the Haida tribe. This summer, I urged the Kasaan Haida
Heritage Foundation (KHHF) to allow me to utilize the nonprofit status of the
foundation to seek funding and conduct projects that preserve our knowledge.

In September, we created the position of Media Specialist in which I intend to
raise money and interview our elders, especially in regards to the Haida
language. I will produce, direct, and coordinate a video documentary to raise
awareness and archive the language. I plan to make the results available in
digital formats on the KHHF website.

If given the chance, I believe people would rally to this cause. We need to get
the word out. So, I call on you to get the ball rolling and join The Grassroots
Founders Campaign. Grassroots because the idea is to reach out to many
individuals on a personal level; Founders because you will underwrite the
beginning of our preservation effort.

Donations received from now until December 31, 2004 will earn the donor a
Grassroots Founder designation. I ask for a relatively small gift of 25 to 100
dollars. Names of donors will appear in the KHHF newsletter and donations
will be eligible for a tax deduction for this year. Grassroots Founders get
special on-screen mention in the documentary.

Please send checks (payable to KHHF) to:
Kasaan Haida Heritage Foundation
600 University Street, Suite 3010
Seattle, WA 98101-1129

Write in the memo area on your check or include a note designating funds for
Media Specialist/Projects.

Very importantly, SPREAD THE WORD. Please pass this on to 5 to 10 friends,
or more. You will multiply your donation exponentially and play a vital role in
preserving the Haida language for future generations. We appreciate
anything you can do to help us preserve our language and heritage.

Frederick Olsen, Jr.

For more information, email me or go to

KHHF is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN 92-0169568).

PS—KAVILCO, or Kasaan Village Corporation, helps us by providing support
services--office, clerical, website, and mail.


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