Haida Singer Artist Author Educator
Sondra Segundo-Cunningham is a multi-faceted artist and Haida Language Warrior.
She comes from a long, unbroken line of Yahkw Jáanaas - Haida Raven Clan Matriarchs. Her grandparents were both fluent in the Alaskan Haida dialect. Sondra's mother Vicki and aunt Jeanne were “silent speakers” who grew up in a bilingual home. The family would go home to Alaska every summer to visit Sondra's great-grandmother, Náanaa Stlaay, the clan Matriarch, who lived to be 104. She also spent time with her paternal great grandmother in Craig. Hannah gave Sondra her name Gidáa kínggwaang. So, Sondra was born and raised in a time when there were still many birth speakers alive.
From a very young age, Sondra grew up hearing traditional Haida songs as well as gospel songs translated to Xaad kíl with her Elders. They also taught her how to sing harmonies.
Now she is passing on this priceless knowledge to the next generations.
Sondra is a cultural educator and a published author and illustrator of 3 Haida children’s books.
In 2018, she was discovered by tribal band, Khu’éex’ (koo eek) which is based in Seattle and sings in the Tlingit and Haida Languages. She will be featured on their upcoming 2 albums and documentary film "The Magic of Noise" with Khu.éex'.
Sondra also produces music with her husband and has released 3 albums.
Sondra was fortunate to apprentice with birth speaker Jane Kristovich during the last 5 years of Jane's life. This led Sondra to become the founder, visionary and director of Haida Roots, a non-profit organization that connects local Haida to resources and opens opportunities for sharing their culture and learning Xaad kíl.