Sealaska Heritage Institute to sponsor lecture on Metlakatla reservation’s 125-year-old salmon economy

Pictured: Sealaska Heritage Institute - Walter Soboleff Building.(Photo: Ken Graham, courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute)

Event free, open to the public

News Release

Sealaska Heritage Institute

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a lecture on the Metlakatla reservation salmon fishery and how that fishery provides the economic foundation for a community of 1,200 residents.

The lecture, A Story Not Told: The Metlakatla Tsimshian Salmon Fishery on the Annette Island Reservation, Alaska will be given by Steve J. Langdon, professor emeritus of anthropology, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Pictured: Sealaska Heritage Institute flyer, Native American Heritage Month 2019 Lecture Series.
Pictured: Sealaska Heritage Institute flyer, Native American Heritage Month 2019 Lecture Series.(Image: Sealaska Heritage Institute)

In 1887, a portion of the Tsimshian community associated with missionary William Duncan departed northern British Columbia and settled on Annette Island in Southeast Alaska. The Tsimshians proceeded to re-establish their communal enterprises, including a salmon cannery, in their new home.

In 1916, the Annette Island Reservation was established with an external boundary extending 3,000 feet offshore. The Metlakatla Tsimshian community has sustained their reservation salmon economy for more than 125 years. The Metlakatla situation will be compared to the situation that other Indigenous Tlingit and Haida Indians find themselves in in Southeast Alaska subject to the laws and policies of the state.

The lecture is scheduled from noon-1 pm, Tuesday, Nov. 5, at Sealaska Heritage’s Walter Soboleff Building, 105 S. Seward St. in Juneau. The lecture will be videotaped and put online shortly after the talk.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee. 

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