The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Central Council) announced it was awarded a 35-year land lease from the City and Borough of Juneau’s (CBJ) Docks and Harbors Department for the 4400 Thane Road property—former location of the Thane Ore House. Central Council will utilize and manage the property to establish a cultural immersion park and buffet to educate tourists on the Tlingit and Haida cultures, similar to other indigenous cultural centers.
CBJ awarded the land lease to Central Council based on a criteria evaluation which reviewed the proposal’s operational and business plan, capacity of firm, record of performance, established local business, marine related activities, and lease offering.
“The immersion park is an economic enterprise for the Tribe that will encompass public and private partnerships,” said Business & Economic Development Department Manager Myrna Gardner. “We are committed to pursuing economic self-sufficiency for our people and community, and have pledged our resources for job creation and commerce development.”
The enterprise is projected to create commerce, promote cultural awareness, increase tourism, and generate over 200 jobs in Juneau from renovation through operation. An integral part of the business plan will utilize Central Council’s Vocational Training & Resource Center (VTRC) and employment and training programs. Central Council currently receives funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior – Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Department of Labor which is administered for programs that provide on-the-job training, work experience, and vocational training opportunities. Training programs in customer service, cultural etiquette, and sales will be developed under the VTRC to prepare tribal citizens and community members for positions.
“I am excited for not only the economic opportunity this will bring to the Tribe, but more importantly the employment possibilities for our tribal citizens and opportunity to showcase our culture in a positive way where we can tell our own stories,” said Central Council President Richard J. Peterson.
The mission of Central Council is to preserve our sovereignty, enhance our economic and cultural resources, and promote self-sufficiency and self-governance for our citizens. We are very pleased to have secured this opportunity to continue to be a strong business partner in Juneau and Southeast Alaska.