Shamans. Sacred burial grounds. A stand-off between two tribal chiefs. These are among the stories about land in Juneau’s backyard, told in a new book published by the Sealaska Heritage Institute as part of its Box of Knowledge series.
Most people know the land as Indian Point, near the Auke Bay ferry terminal. The Lingít called it X’unáxi, a reference to the land’s traditional use as a place to camp or stopover.
The book, National Recognition of the Traditional Cultural Significance of X’unaxi, is a compilation of three research papers, each written by a different author — Dr. Rosita Worl, Dr. Charles Smythe and Dr. Thomas Thornton.
On Thursday’s Juneau Afternoon, Worl and Smythe tell the story of the long battle to protect Indian Point from development, which include successful efforts to have it listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a traditional cultural property. Although Indian Point, or X’unáxi, has won recognition as a sacred site, Worl and Smythe believe the land is still not safe from development.
Rhonda McBride hosted Thursday’s program. You can catch Juneau Afternoon, Tuesday through Friday, live at 3:00 p.m. on KTOO Juneau 104.3. The rebroadcast airs at 7:00 p.m. on KTOO. You can also listen online at ktoo.org.
For more information about Juneau Afternoon or to schedule time on the show, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please schedule early. The show is often booked one to two weeks in advance.
Every piece of land has a story. For Indigenous peoples, ties to the land are often erased from history after it is usurped — even sacred sites like Indian Point on the outskirts of Juneau. A new book published by Sealaska Heritage Institute hopes to change that.