Nahaan’s matrilineal lineage is of the Tlingit, his grandfather is Iñupiaq, his biological father of the Paiute and his actual father is of the Kaigani Haida. He focuses exclusively on working within the spirit and design style of the Northwest Coast practices and customs of ceremonial tattooing, wood carving, copper and abalone jewelry, painting and custom designing of regalia and tattoos. Nahaan emulates the strong visual and oral storytelling that has been handed down from generation to generation, it’s the foundation of his work, way of living and teaching of his cultural traditions. Within the realms of language arts and expression, Nahaan teaches the Tlingit language through traditional songs, dances and free Indigenous only community classes. He is the leader for Tlingit based inter-tribal group Náakw Dancers, a group he started in Seattle, Washington in 2014, in order to perpetuate the rich expressions of the Pacific Northwests Native population. Nahaan is also a spoken word poet and co-founded “Woosh Kinaadeiyeí” poetry slam in Juneau, Alaska in 2010 which has since grown into a thriving and creative mainstay in the capitol city. He is also a vocalist for Khu.éex’ a Seattle based band that presents a contemporary interpretation of Tlingit culture. He focuses on the aspects of community empowerment and self mastery through the methods of dekkkolonization, Indigenization, education and activism. He offers workshop facilitation and keynotes for conferences and events near and far.
Nahaan is available for presentations of traditional storytelling, formline and carving demonstrations and workshops, traditional tattoo revival talks and facilitation of Tlingit language classes. Suicide prevention, pride of identity, Indigenous worldview, health of mind, body and spirit are all addressed through his hired work. With his diverse skillset and knowledge base Nahaan hopes to help initiate social change and transformation in order for Indigenous liberation of lands, minds, bodies and waters.
Most of his cultural presentations are either 30 minutes or 1 hour in length and are available to all audiences from all backgrounds.
Continuing and longer term classes are available and can range in length up to a weekend, a week, a month or a semester with multiple session fees open for negotiation.
His current on-going Tlingit language class have been taking place since 2016 in the Seattle area and helps to create an Indigenous prioritized education for the underserved population.
Náakw is an inter-tribal support group that practices the Tlingit way of presenting song and dance from the Pacific Northwest. They travel the highways of their ancestors via canoe and work to embody the teachings of the land and ocean while defending the sacred and future generations. The group was formed in 2014 by its leader Nahaan and meets to celebrate lineage, practice empowerment and critical thinking of youth and participate in the Indigenous Resistance in many of its forms. Náakw looks forward to sharing their teachings and medicines with you at your next occasion.