This collection consists primarily of four audio recordings of Alaska Native American Indians speaking about their heritage, recorded between 1982-1998 by Wallace M. Olson, author and emeritus instructor of anthropology at University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau. The collection also contains a transcription of a 1992 interview Olson conducted, though the original recording does not accompany the transcription.
The first two recordings (Items 1-2) in this collection contain Tlingit Indian Walter Williams of Juneau, Alaska speaking about the history of Glacier Bay, Alaska. On these two recordings Williams reads a story about the history of Glacier Bay, then discusses this story and adds traditional information to the story from his Tlingit perspective. Sadly, the recording quality of the first recording is low, but it is still audible. Williams’ speaking comprises two CDs. The recording also contains a recording from an undated meeting from the “Second Haida Central Council.” This includes speaking by Charles Richmond and Andrew Hope.
The third recording (Item 3) in the collection contains stories by Alaska Natives David and Annabell Peele, concerning the Haida Indians of Southeast Alaska. The tape recording was made in their apartment in Ketchikan. Their stories concern how Haida Indians entered Tlingit lands, various histories of places, people, and clans, as well as a discussion of the Haida language.
The forth recording (Item 7) consists of an oral history interview of Tlingit Anna Katzeek, presumably of the L’uknax.adí clan of the Chilkoot Kwaan. This interview was conducted by Wallace Olson in approximately 1998 for the purpose of learning about the Tlingit oral history of the area near the Kensington mine’s then proposed place of operation. It contains stories about the area and about the shaman Kaak’w. The recording is on cassette.
These recordings were originally recorded on audio cassettes, which are included in this collection. Upon donation the audio content from the first three cassettes were migrated digitally, edited and enhanced for sound quality, and then saved on CDs for patron use. Patrons who desire to listen to these recordings are asked to listen only to the CDs. The fourth cassette was received from Wallace after the original three, and plans are being made to also transfer this recording to CD.
Researchers should also know that some recordings in this collection have been transcribed. Item 3 has been transcribed in full, and parts of Item 1 have also been transcribed. These are located in the collection.
Finally, in 2011 Olson donated a transcription of an interview he conducted in July 1990 at Ketchikan, Alaska with Gertrude Johnson, who was of Tsimshian descent. The recording contains discussion about Tlingit/Tsimshian interactions, slavery, Chief Shakes of Wrangell (Tlingit), history of the Nass River area, and coastal migration of the Tsimshian.