The word Tlingit means “people.” Traditional Tlingit territory is the Southeastern Alaska panhandle, from Yakutat south to Ketchikan, and including the Alexander Archipelago, which consists of more than a thousand islands.
Population: Approximately 24,000 (as of 2016) Language: Tlingit
THE BEAVER RETURNS
FROM THE COLLECTIONS: Tlingit berry masher
INDIGENOUS CULTURE AND THE CAPITAL CITY
FROM THE COLLECTIONS: Tlingit bent-cornered bear dish
IN TLINGIT TERRITORY
THEN AND NOW
(left) Decades before Alaska became part of the United States, colonial traders from Russia settled in the Kiks.adi Tlingit village of Sheet'ká. The Tlingit resisted, but in 1804, the Russians bombarded them, forcing a retreat. This 1900 image of Sitka shows St. Michael's Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church.
Slide to reveal an image of Sitka today.
(right) Fire destroyed the original St. Michael's Cathedral in 1966. The Orthodox church in Sitka's downtown today is a replica. Today Native people make up between 15 and 20 percent of the population of Sitka, including many descendants of its original residents.
Image credits: (left) University of Washington, Special Collections, NA2577; (right) H. Smith Walker
FROM THE COLLECTIONS AND BEYOND
Image credit for lead photo: D. Gless