People of the Southeast Wind

Culture Center

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. 

Art Culture

Cape Fox Corporation Artist-in-Residence

Featured here is the art of Kenneth “Kelly” White the CFC Artist-In-Residence. More about Kelly White >

Insights

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.

Trails of the Board

Walking in the footsteps of elders that came before us, our Board members have a need to continue the heritage, legacy, and traditions that were passed down from our ancestors. One of those is through leadership. Our Board is forging a path created by our elders and continued now for future generations to learn, grow, and lead the Corporation into the future for many years to come.

Stay Safe and Take Care of Each-other

Joys and Passions

Cape Fox Tours Dancers

Completing Interests

Had a Visit

Fog Woman Totem

Tour Dancers

Cape Fox Tour Dancers

Living Our Culture

The Power of Song and Dance

Community Highlights

CFC Board Member Charles Denny Honored for Service

CFC Board Member Charles Denny Honored for Service

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.

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Recognition for CFC’s Spirit at Annual 4th of July Parade

Recognition for CFC’s Spirit at Annual 4th of July Parade

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.

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Keeping Culture Alive Through Art

Keeping Culture Alive Through Art

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.

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Tlingit History

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. 

Tlingit Tribe

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.

Art Education

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.

Tlingit Carving

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

Sealaska Heritage Institute: Formline Class with David Boxley

Visit – Sealaska Heritage Institute YouTube for more Formline Instruction

Formline Class with David Boxley, Part 1

Formline Class with David Boxley, Part 2

Formline Class with David Boxley, Part 3

Formline Class with David Boxley, Part 4

Sealaska Heritage Institute: Preparing for Chilkat Weaving with Lily Hope

Visit – Sealaska Heritage Institute YouTube for more Chilkat Weaving

Boiling Cedar Bark

Splitting Wool

Spinning Warp

Dyeing Weft with Copper

Language Education

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.

Tlingit Conversation

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.

Tlingit Dictionary

Adobe Acrobat PDF

Dictionary of Tlingit

Adobe Acrobat PDF

Sealaska Heritage Institute: Preserving Tlingit Culture Through Language Education

Visit – Sealaska Heritage Institute for more Language Videos & Information

Useful Phrases for Beginning Lingít Learners

Learn the Tlingit Language: Have Strength and Courage

Learn the Tlingit Language: Nothing Measures Up to our Language

Learn the Tlingit Language: Our Language Saved Us

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
  • Bannock

Our Food Is Our Tlingit Way of Life

Excerpts From Oral Interviews
Richard G. Newton and Madonna L. Moss

Sealaska Heritage Institute

Visit – Sealaska Heritage Institute YouTube for more Subsistence Videos

Baiting First Tlingit Halibut Hook

Carving Horn Spoons Step 1: Soaking the Horn

Alaska Department of Fishing and Game Channel

Visit – Alaska Department of Fishing and Game Channel YouTube for more Subsistence and Food Preparation Videos

How to Can Salmon

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

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY

BECOME A CAPE FOX HERITAGE GUIDE

Our 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

For further information about how you can help preserve our Tlingit heritage for generations to come, contact Shareholder Services at 907.225.5163 or