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Sun, moon, stars

Stamp ceremony celebrates Indigenous culture

Members of the Lukaax.ádi clan perform during the Raven Story stamp dedication ceremony.

The Postal Service dedicated its Raven Story stamp during a July 30 event that celebrated a legend revered by many Alaska Native and Native American cultures.

“The Raven Story represents a great meaning to the Indigenous people of the Northwest Coast,” ranging from Southeast Alaska through coastal British Columbia, said Jakki Krage Strako, the USPS chief commerce and business solutions officer, who spoke at the event.

The Forever stamp, available at Post Offices and, is inspired by the traditional story of the raven setting the sun, moon and stars free.

It’s one of several raven stories recounted by the Tlingit, the Tsimshian, the Haida and the Kwakwaka’wakw, among other Indigenous peoples, who added elements reflecting their own customs, ethics and cultural inheritances.

Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp based on art created by Tlingit/Athabascan designer and artist Rico Worl.

Worl used formline — a traditional design style of northern Northwest Coast Indigenous people — to depict the raven just as he escapes from his human family and begins to transform back into bird form.

“I hope this stamp inspires people to learn more about Alaska Native and Native American cultures as both rich traditional people and modern innovative and creative people,” said Worl, who also spoke at the event, which was held at the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau, AK.

Other speakers included Marlene Johnson, chair of the Sealaska Heritage Institute Board of Trustees; Beth Weldon, mayor of Juneau; Frank Henry Kaash Katasse, a playwright, actor and educator; and Lance (X̱’unei) A. Twitchell, associate professor of Alaska Native languages at the University of Alaska Southeast.