• Xunaa Shuká Hít, the Tribal House, in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

      Furuya, Emiko; Ehrlander, Mary F.; Nakazawa, Anthony; Ramos, Judith Daxootsu (2017-08)
      This research analyzes the Tribal House project in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Southeast Alaska, which the Hoonah Indian Association (the tribal government at Hoonah) and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve have promoted collaboratively. The Tribal House project is the construction of an indigenous structure in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, primarily for the use of Hoonah, the local Tlingit community. This research investigates the motivations of the partners in supporting the project. It concludes that the two partners' motivations, which derive from distinct missions, reconcile with one another in a complex way. The Hoonah Indian Association supports the project primarily to reconnect the younger Tlingit generations to their ancestral land, Glacier Bay, and to promote their cultural survival, which lies at the core of the tribal government's mission. The reconnection also represents a metaphorical restitution of Glacier Bay in demonstrating for park visitors the Tlingit clans' ties with Glacier Bay, which have been maintained from prehistoric times to modern days. Both the reconnection and the restitution affirm Tlingit clan-based identities. The representation of contemporary Tlingit culture in the Tribal House, however, requires a consolidation of multiple clan identities. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve promotes the project to accomplish the National Park Service's mission to tell Glacier Bay's history fairly to park visitors by acknowledging that Glacier Bay is the indigenous group's ancestral homeland. This acknowledgement contradicts the original purpose of the National Park, to preserve the region as uninhabited wilderness. This examination of the two entities' motivations in their collaborative project will serve as a case study for considering contemporary park management issues in light of indigenous peoples' inhabitation of park lands since time immemorial.