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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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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Plans continue for the re-building of Crescent Harbor, located in the center of downtown. Said Sitka Harbormaster Stan Eliason, “We received $5 million from the State of Alaska (out of an anticipated $12 million).” The construction phase of the project should begin during the winter of 2019 with estimated completion by March of 2020.

Eliason thinks that “We are right on track timing-wise, but (the scope of the project now covers) only re-building the timber floats, rather than the whole harbor.”

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During the 1980s, in the spring of each year, halibut fishing in Sitka resembled a combat zone. Massed on the fishing docks and back decks of longline fishing vessels were (mostly) men – deckhands and skippers surrounded by endless buckets of stainless steel circle hooks connected to miles-long poly-line, gearing and baiting-up to hunt the (up to) 400-lb. flat fish.

In those days the catch quotas were filled by any fishermen who wanted to fish and it was known as a “derby” fishery.

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AC Lakeside Grocery 907-747-3733 907-747-6279 705 Halibut Point Road – Suite BSitka, AK 99835 Visit Website

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Petro Marine 907-747-3414 613 Katlian St. Sitka, AK 99835 1 Lincoln St.Sitka, AK 99835 Visit Website

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