Glacier Bay National Park acquires ancestral site of Hoonah Tlingit

Oct 8, 2020

A Tribe in Southeast Alaska has won permanent protection for the site of a historic Tlingit village whose descendants claim centuries-old ties to Glacier Bay. Complex negotiation secured 150 acres that had been eyed by commercial developers.

Capital City Fire and Rescue recently refurbished one of its ambulances. It saved the city the expense of buying a new one. And as an added bonus, the ambulance serves as a piece of public art.

Both sides of the newly revamped ambulance feature Tlingit formline designs by Mary Goddard and Crystal Kaakeeyáa Worl; they symbolize the human power of healing.

Tlingit cultural items could be headed back to Alaska

Jul 13, 2020

Five sacred Tlingit items could be returned to Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. 

The U.S. Mint released a coin commemorating the work of Alaska Native leader Elizabeth Peratrovich.

The 2020 Native American $1 coin is currently only available online, but Alaskans are advocating for a wider release.

Southeast Alaska fossil declared a new species and given a Tlingit name

Feb 19, 2020

A fossil of a marine reptile in Southeast Alaska has officially been declared a new species. The 220 million-year-old Thalattosaur is older than the dinosaurs. And as Angela Denning reports from Petersburg, Tlingit Elders have named it after a well-known creature in their traditional stories.

John Lawrence is a cultural interpreter for the Sealaska Heritage Institute visitor center. His father was Tlingit, and his mother was Haida. Those two groups, along with the Tsimshian people, make up the three major Alaska Native groups of Southeast Alaska.

As a cultural interpreter, Lawrence tries to answer any questions visitors might have. Questions like, “What’s that thing on the wall?” or, “What kind of paint did they use on that thing?”

Native American rights attorney lays out 1955 Tlingit land-rights loss

Nov 22, 2019

Walter Echo-Hawk is, essentially, a walking law library. It makes sense, given that he’s been practicing law since 1973.

He rattles off cases from memory — from the WWII-era Korematsu case that was used to uphold internment of Americans of Japanese descent, to the Dred Scott decision from 1857, when the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Constitution didn’t include citizenship for black people.

For the third year in a row, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska partnered with the Forest Service to grow Tlingit potatoes. Alaska Natives have cultivated these tubers in Southeast for several hundred years. Now, the Tribe is trying to raise the profile of the crop both as an important cultural link and as a potential tool in its drive for food security.

‘Landless’ tribes stake out selections of the Tongass

Nov 4, 2019

Some Southeast Alaska tribal communities who were excluded from forming village corporations in the 1970s continue to push for a land settlement. Residents and descendants of natives in Wrangell, Petersburg, Tenakee Springs, Ketchikan and Haines call themselves landless tribes. The effort backed by Sealaska Corporation, has released a series of maps with acreage they’d like sliced out of Tongass National Forest.

Most fluent speakers of the Lingít language are elders. But the instructors of an immersion classroom in Juneau have high hopes: to raise a new generation of Lingít speakers.

When you step inside the Haa Yóo X̱ʼatángi Kúdi classroom, two rules are immediately clear: shoes off, and Lingít only. At least for the adults.

Haa Yóo X̱ʼatángi Kúdi means “our language’s nest,” or “our language nest.”