Sealaska Heritage Walter Soboleff Bldg

Sealaska Historical Panel

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SHI sponsored a panel discussion on Walter Soboleff Day (11/14/22) regarding the controversial 1962 closure of the “Walter Soboleff church” and recent efforts to atone.

The panel spoke at SHI’s Walter Soboleff Building at 105 S. Seward Street. The talk was livestreamed on SHI’s YouTube channel and will also be posted there for later viewers.

The panel discussion addressed the “controversial closure of a Juneau church 60 years ago that was ministered by the late Tlingit spiritual leader Walter Kaajaakwtí Soboleff” and examined “recent efforts to atone for that decision by Kuneix Hidí Northern Light United Church, Northwest Coast Presbytery and Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

The discussion was led by the Kuneix Hidí Northern Light United Church’s Native Ministries Committee, which organized in recent years to research the sudden and unexplained closure of Soboleff’s facility, Memorial Presbyterian Church. The committee led a successful local and national campaign to share the results of their research and reveal the injustice done to Soboleff and parishioners.

The group’s effort addresses a very old wound delivered to Soboleff that was also suffered by his widespread congregation, said SHI President Rosita Worl.

Read more about the panel members and the history behind their discussion at

And read KTOO’s Nov. 16, 2022 article by Yvonne Krumrey at