Weaver Lily Hope

In what some may consider an inappropriate use of traditional Alaska Native culture to push the LGBTQ agenda, the City and Borough of Juneau is encouraging area children to sign up for a year-long program that teaches them how to weave woolen Native-styled “Pride Robes” to celebrate myriad sexual identities.

Hosted by the Zach Gordon Youth Center (ZGYC), a division of Juneau’s Parks & Recreation department, the event features weaver Lily Hope and her team of “mentor weavers.” They will offer a year-long community “Pride Robe” residency beginning July 7. Over the course of the year, the weavers will guide Juneau youth in creating two “Youth Pride Robes.” One each in Chilkat and Ravenstail techniques, the two premiere woolen textiles of Northwest Coast. Once created, the robes will be worn during an Alaska Native dance celebration at the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Celebration 2024.

After the Celebration, the robes will remain on display at the youth center as a “permanent wearable art piece, to be worn only by youth during SHI’s biennial Celebration, graduations, new-names parties, coming out parties, and significant Native and non-Native Pride events,” a notice explains.

This is not the first time, Hope has tapped into public funds to marry Alaska Native traditions with the LGBTQ agenda. In 2020, she received nearly $14,000 in Covid relief funds to make gay and transgender themed native Covid masks, which are now on display at Juneau’s City Museum.

She said her latest project aims to brings together “Native, non-Native, queer, straight, cis-gender, transgender, allies, and all identities youth to sit side by side and create a shared work celebrating pride, community, and self.”

LGBTQ masks made by weaver Lily Hope in 2020.

The use of Alaska Native cultural traditions to disseminate LGBTQ dogma has struck a nerve with some Alaska Natives. Two years ago, the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage used its main stage to host a drag queen story hour for children. This spurred a group of local Alaska Natives to protest the event and create an organization called One Spirit Warriors.

At the time, the group said it formed with the goal of preserving traditional Alaska Native family values, while defending future generations from propaganda and programs that seek to twist Alaska Native heritage for leftist cultural agendas – especially with regard to human sexuality.

“We stand up for the legacy of our ancestors, we stand behind leaders who share wholesome values, and we stand against the message that Alaska Natives have a fluid sexual identity,” the group’s Facebook page states. “One Spirit Warriors will fight for our Alaska Native children and their innocence.”

The upcoming Juneau “Pride Robe” project kicks off on July 7, 4-8 p.m., at the Zach Gordon Youth Center, and is sponsored by Goldbelt Heritage, the Juneau Community Foundation, Central Council Tlingit & Haida, Sealaska Corporation, and Emma Goldman.


— Click here to contact council members of the City & Borough of Juneau.

— Click here to contact Juneau Parks and Recreation.

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Juneau teaches kids how to weave AK Native-styled ‘Pride Robes’ to promote LGBTQ identity

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.