Sitka is located on Baranof Island… in the heart of the Tongass National Forest, the largest temperate rain forest in the world… Access to Sitka is by air or water only. While an influx of Russian Traders and American colonists in the 18th and 19th centuries has resulted in a mixed citizenry, the total Tlingit population has now rebounded…

The mission of the Kayaaní Commission is to preserve our spiritual way of life. The religion of the Tlingit was the Earth. The Tlingit are one with the Earth. (We are) here to preserve and protect traditional ways of our ancestral knowledge.

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The journey from apprentice to master, in any field, may not be a straight one. But as Tlingit master carver Tommy Joseph knows, the road – or the waterway – however winding it is, will surely be an interesting one.

Tommy’s journey started in Ketchikan, Alaska in 1964. That was when the Tlingit carver-to-be was born, as Naal xἁk’w, into the Ch’aak’/Gooch (Eagle/Wolf) moiety of the Kaagwaantaan (Wolf) clan.

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The rebuilding of Crescent Harbor was completed in late 2020, after delays related to Covid-19 and the complexity of restoring electrical power to all the floats. All boats are back in their slips now.

“The boats which did not need electrical were back in place by May of 2020. After that, power was restored to each float, one at a time.” The final returns were in late summer. The project was “a challenge,” pronounces Harbormaster Stan Eliason. “Now we’re done; it’s time to move on.”

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Some folks get their start in seafood processing at a tender age. Now a policy engagement director for the Sitka Conservation Society, Katie Riley worked in the Packing Room at Sitka Sound Seafoods (SSS) for two summers at age 18.

She started by printing labels that gave the weight, price, etc., to go on 50# boxes of frozen fish heading south – her title was “Labeler.” The second year she became “Labeler & Expediter.”

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Pat Kehoe’s life might sound like a John le Carré book. We met one evening over a pint (after Pat’s cherished tap dance class) to talk about how art and life had evolved.

Trained as both artist and nurse, Pat came to Sitka from Washington in 1980, specifically to go fishing. She’d been working as an RN in a “very intense setting” and needed to do something different. She and a friend put their VW van on the ferry, got to Sitka on July 4th and settled in at Starrigavin campground.

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Crescent Harbor is being re-built – installation of the timber floats is “going really well,” per Sitka Harbormaster Stan Eliason.

Eliason is hoping to get boats back into their stalls as soon as possible. The Harbor Dept. has a time-lapse camera recording the progress of the renovation and reviews the footage once-a-month. This will provide an archivable record of the project.

“The utility portion,” says Eliason, “will be substantially complete by June 12th. That will be the final portion.

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These days, in marine science education in Southeast Alaska, turns out that “sharing” is the name of the game.

Much of the philosophy (and some of the structure) of scientific sharing that now exists in this place is largely the offspring of Sitkan Jan Straley. Having lived in Alaska since 1979, Straley is famous for her decades-long research, writing and photography about whales. Equally important, though perhaps less well-known, is Jan’s influence on at least two generations of Alaskan scientists.

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This year’s cover artist was born and grew up outside Boston – interestingly, she notes, at the one-mile mark of the Boston Marathon.

Bethany Goodrich’s photo is striking to some because of its tranquility and the feeling of respect and connectedness between the salmon in the foreground, and the hand and mussels in the background.

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