AWARDEE: Lani Hotch
NATIVE HERITAGE: Chilkat Indian Village
LOCATION: Klukwan, Alaska
AWARD: 2023 SHIFT – Transformative Change and Indigenous Arts
DISCIPLINE: Traditional Arts
Takshanuk Watershed Council
Lani Hotch was born in Klukwan, Alaska and continues to make her home there alongside her husband Jones Hotch Jr. Hailing from a lineage of accomplished weavers spanning five generations, she is dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of Chilkat and Ravens Tail weaving. Hotch is committed to sharing and passing her knowledge through collaborative projects and mentoring apprentice weavers in her community.
Hotch has led and contributed to significant collaborative weaving projects in Klukwan, and has undertaken numerous solo weaving projects, including the creation of seven dance robes and a dance tunic. Her work is in several museums including the Alaska State Museum, Sheldon Museum, and the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center. Her weavings have been exhibited internationally, and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Community Spirit Award from the First Peoples Fund, the Alaska Governor’s Award for the Arts, Native Arts and Culture Foundation’s Mentor Artist Fellowship, and a United States Artist Fellowship. In 2017, the Chilkat Indian Village proclaimed Hotch as a Culture Bearer for her tribe.
In celebrating the species of Chilkat salmon through weaving, we tell the story of how we as humans are connected to the land and waters that feed and nourish us.”
― Lani Hotch (Chilkat Indian Village)
For her SHIFT Project, Hotch and four apprentices will create five Chilkat Salmon Protector Robes. The robes will be unveiled at several community events and utilized as a tool for advocacy and cultural education to convince the public, as well as local, State of Alaska, and United States Government Officials, of the vital importance of the Chilkat River Salmon and to prevent industrial development such as the Palmer Project that threatens the Chilkat River/watershed. After the public unveilings, the robes will be exhibited at the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center. The Project’s Lead Partner Organization, Takshanuk Watershed Council, will provide administrative and logistical support and help to organize community events.
The mission of the Takshanuk Watershed Council is to promote respect and good stewardship of the Chilkat, Chilkoot, and Ferebee River watersheds. Through habitat restoration, education, research, and community engagement they seek to benefit the natural ecology, human economy, and quality of life valued by all residents.