The Haines area used to be a Tlingit stronghold, ruled by an alliance between the prosperous Chilkat and Chilkoot people. A new Haines Sheldon Museum exhibit explores how the Native territory gradually gave way to white settlement in the late 1800s. The exhibit will anchor the museum’s upstairs space for at least two years.
“The fact is that after 1902, all of the people who were executed in Alaska were either racial minorities or ethnic minorities,” said attorney Averil Lerman. The last three men executed in the territory were an Alaska Native and two black men.
In 1931, a Smithsonian anthropologist excavated the bones of 24 men, women and children from a village site near Igiugig. After eight decades in the museum’s collection, those remains were reburied near their original places of rest.
An exhausted team of archaeologists on the Bering Sea coast just finished their dig at Nunalleq for the year after uncovering hundreds of artifacts. They plan to return to the 700-year-old village next summer, provided the winter storms don’t wash it away.