People of the Southeast Wind
Gunalchéesh for visiting the Cape Fox Culture Center. We are proud of our Tlingit ancestry. If you are a Cape Fox shareholder or a shareholder descendent and would like to add your story to the site, please contact us.
Unique Experiences Grow Unique Insights
The Insights program looks at how Cape Fox leads, thinks, feels, and interacts. It is a preview into what drives our Cape Fox Team. Knowing the culture, history, and experiences of our elders, leaders, and shareholders is important. What are their unique Tlingit experiences? Why is keeping their culture alive important? What advice do they have to the Tlingit youth? Listen to their unique insights as an Alaska Native.
Harvey & Richard Shields
Stay Safe and Take Care of Each-Other
Harvey and Richard Shields share some wisdom with us. Love one another, stay safe, and take care of each other.
Earlier this year, South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department (STVFD) honored one of Cape Fox Corporation’s (CFC) own for his
years of service. Charles “Chuck” Denny was presented with awards and proclamations honoring his 40 years of service with the STVFD. CFC is proud to include our praises for Chuck, who gives back to his neighbors and has been a long-standing pillar of the community.
Cape Fox Corporation (CFC) stands out in many ways for being more than just a top employer and a thriving business; CFC stands out for its commitment to community and remaining united with its neighbors and friends in Ketchikan, Alaska. This commitment to the people of Ketchikan was recognized on July 4, 2021, at the annual Independence Day parade in Ketchikan, Alaska, when CFC was presented the Best in Parade award by the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce.
Cape Fox Corporation (CFC) represents the Tlingit natives of Saxman, Alaska. It is part of the mission of CFC to keep the Tlingit culture alive for future generations of our Shareholders. In 2020, CFC employed Kelly White as the CFC Artist In-Residence to create Tlingit art pieces that represent the values, colors, and meanings of the Tlingit culture. Over the past year, Kelly has created several artistic pieces showcased in many CFC commercial business locations or sold to those who appreciate the unique artistic value of Tlingit art.
Tlingit Legacy Rich in Community, Family, and Strength
The legacy of the Tlingits include a rich history, a culture devoted to the strength of community and family, and proud, resilient people. Their history began 11,000 years ago when they migrated across the Bearing Strait to a new land finally settling along the shores of Southeast Alaska. The early Tlingits made their home at Cape Fox in the Alexander Archipelago – a small chain of wind stripped islands off the coast of the Alaska Panhandle – 53 miles southeast of Ketchikan, Alaska. At the turn of the 20th century, the Tlingits moved from the original Cape Fox village, settling in Saxman, Alaska. Today, Cape Fox Corporation (CFC) is devoted to educating the world about the Tlingit culture through our art and language while also providing for its Shareholders with a financial resource and preservation of our lands.
OUR NATIVE LEGACY: HISTORY & HERITAGE
Southeast Alaska is home to three distinct Native tribal groups: The Tlingit (pro: KLING kit), the Haida (pro: HIGH duh) and the Tsimshian (pro: SIM she ann). The Tlingit people have been here since time immemorial.
The Tlingit People
Mountainous and icy islands stretch 480 miles between Icy Bay, Alaska, and the small city of Ketchikan, Alaska.
30 FACTS ABOUT TLINGIT ART, CULTURE & THE HISTORY OF ALASKA’S NATIVE TRIBES
There are few places you can travel in the United States where the indigenous culture is quite so prevalent as it is in Southeast Alaska.
Summary and Definition: The Tlingit were a seafaring people, skilled fishers, traders and hunters-gatherers, who were located southern Alaska in the United States and British Columbia and the Yukon in Canada.
Tlingit Art – Connecting Nature and Mythology
Most Tlingit art includes an element of spirituality. Tlingit art represents the nature around them, mythological stories passed down from generation to generation, complex, intricate designs, and still maintains some functionality. Tlingit artwork can include everyday objects such as utensils or storage boxes to their houses. Tlingit works of art are painted with colorful, traditional clan imagery. Tlingit art includes totems, boxes, canoes, masks, dishes, and utensils usually out of wood or abalone shells. Blankets are robes are created with a special style of Chilkat weaving which is a complex weaving technique that can take one to five years to create and feature horizontal and circular patterns of classic curvilinear and circular formlines within the weave to create highly stylized clan crests, animals, and other figures from the tribe’s oral history.
Local Mastercarver Jim Heaton instructs students during the 2005 restoration of the Haines High School Friendship Pole. This huge pole is a much larger reproduction of a pole presented…
American Museum of Natural History
“There are rules in our art, and you have to know them so well that you can make them your own. Within these rules we have to create everything, and that’s the hardest part.”
—Dempsey Bob, Tlingit artist
Language is one of the most important parts of any culture. It is the way by which people communicate with one another, build relationships, and create a sense of community. The Tlingit language was not written until missionaries began developing a written-version of the language. Prior to that, the Tlingit culture was an oral tradition passed down from generation to generation through stories and myths. Today, we are working hard to preserve the Tlingit language with elders mentoring youth courses in speaking the language to keep it alive. Tlingit youth of today are greatly interested in preserving this part of their culture, the language.
A weekly radio celebration of Alaska Native languages, especially the endangered Tlingit, Haida, and Ts’msyen. Hear conversations, songs, stories, and much more. Broadcasted by K’yuuhlgáansii (Place of One’s Own, Haida) from Lingit Aani (Tlingit Land) in Sitka, Alaska. “Gunalchéesh” (“goonuthsh–CHEESH”) means “Thank You” in Tlingit.
Comprehensive List of Tlingit Names for All the Present-Day Communities in Lingít Aaní
For untold thousands of years, the coastline and islands of northwestern North America have been filled with small communities ranging in size from a few dozen to a few hundred people. In Lingít Aaní—the land of the Tlingit people—the same is largely true today: While millions of people now live around the Salish Sea in the Seattle-Vancouver megalopolis, the northern portion…
Art of Storytelling: Gene Tagaban (Tlingit)
Native American storytellers use the oral tradition to teach life lessons, tribal histories, and the nuance of languages. Such stories are an essential tool in passing knowledge from one generation to the next.
10 Tlingit Words We Should All Be Using in Southeast Alaska
Anywhere you go in the world, you’ll find concepts that don’t quite translate into English. German, famously, has many useful words that we can’t seem to express succinctly in English, like Weltschmerz and Schadenfreude.
Adobe Acrobat PDF
Dictionary of Tlingit
Adobe Acrobat PDF
Subsistence & Food Preparation
Have you ever eaten smoked salmon, cod, halibut, or herring? If you have, you have had a taste of traditional Tlingit food. Tlingits living near the water relied heavily on the sea for their subsistence. Many Tlingit dishes include seaweed, clams, crab, and of course fish. Salmon is a favorite though and it was usually smoked and dried, to preserve it. Tlingit people traditionally use the entire fish. If fish are filleted, backbones are usually smoked or boiled in soup. Heads are baked or boiled in soup, but they may also be fermented.
While fish was a staple to their diet, they often supplement with wapato (Indian Potato), greens, seeds, berries, and venison, and even the occasional seal. Women also pressed the rich oil from the eulachon (candlefish) and used large amounts of this oil as a dip for their food.
Alaska Natives Recipes
Alaska’s indigenous people are divided into eleven distinct cultures with 20 different languages. They include: Aleut, Inuit, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Eyak, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures. Depending on where they lived and the season of the year determined the diet available to them. The hunter/gatherer societies were based largely on an active subsistence hunting and traditional use of foods such as…
Jane's Tlingit Tribe - Alaska Natives Recipes
- Indian Fry Bread
- Alaska Sockeye Salmon
- Salman Cakes
- Seminole Roast Rabbit
- Bear Chops
Our Food Is Our Tlingit Way of Life
Excerpts From Oral Interviews
Richard G. Newton and Madonna L. Moss
We live our culture each and every day, our subsistence, our language, our culture, and our elders. Without our elders, we wouldn’t be here. I want it to be perpetuated for several generations…don’t be afraid to step in and help, don’t be afraid to get involved.
Candace Williams, Cape Fox Board Member
BECOME A CAPE FOX HERITAGE GUIDEOur legacy from the past and our cultural heritage are irreplaceable. They are sources of vitality and inspiration and represent our Tlingit values. The protection of our Tlingit culture is of paramount importance. To that end, we are actively seeking out Cape Fox Heritage Guides. Heritage Guides are mentors, leaders, and Elders who can help guide our Cape Fox youth into the future while grounding them in rich Tlingit culture, values, and traditions. If you have the skills and knowledge passed down from our ancestors, you could be a valuable resource by sharing your wisdom with the next generation. Be a part of preserving our language and heritage. We are in need of your personal abilities if you can:
- Hunt, Clean, and Skin Seal or Deer
- Catch and Filet Fish
- Stretch and Tan a Hide
- Build a Cabin
- Identify Forest Plants
- Speak Tlingit Language
- Tlingit Storytelling
- Cultural Heritage