Tlingit clan leader: Everything has a spirit

A Shangukeidí Clan Leader says the essence of Tlingit spirituality is this: Everything has a spirit.

David Katzeek spoke Tuesday in the final installment of Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Native American History Month Lecture Series.

“We have words for it,” Katzeek said, speaking the phrase first in Tlingit, then English. “I have the spirit within me.”

In the Tlingit tradition, Katzeek said the words he spoke came not from him, but from his teachers and ancestors.

“Because the spirit of humbleness is acknowledging those who taught you,” he said. “Those who loved you enough to sit with you, and share with you beautiful jewels that you can experience, that you can have, that you can enjoy, that you can use, that you can apply.”

Katzeek was the first president of the Sealaska Heritage Foundation (now the Sealaska Heritage Institute), serving in that job from 1982-1992. He’s a Chilkat Eagle of the Shangukeidí Clan from the Thunderbird House.

Recent headlines

  • A map of the favored proposed route to Katzehin. (Map courtesy Alaska DOT)

    Juneau Assembly votes 6-3 to support the road

    The Juneau Access Project envisions 50 more miles of road up Lynn Canal to a ferry terminal closer to the road system. It has divided the Juneau community for decades and faces significant opposition from other southeast cities including Haines and Skagway. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker pulled the plug on the $574 million project last month.
  • Vote postponed over Juneau’s controversial ‘camping ordinance’

    The Juneau Assembly heard more than 90 minutes of testimony from dozens of residents including merchants, social workers and homeless people themselves who all agreed on one thing: Juneau has a serious homeless problem. But speakers had radically different viewpoints.
  • Trump’s move on Keystone XL, Dakota Access outrages activists

    President Trump indicated that potential deals between the pipeline companies and the federal government would be renegotiated, with the goal of allowing construction to move forward.
  • Petersburg resident Jeff Meucci points to a lands map while Ed Wood looks on during a meeting on Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office timber sales. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)

    Mental Health Trust backs off Southeast timber sales

    The Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office will not pursue timber sales at controversial sites in Petersburg and Ketchikan – at least for now.