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Sealaska Historic Sites Research Papers, 1965-1983

By Zachary R. Jones, Archivist

Collection Overview

Title: Sealaska Historic Sites Research Papers, 1965-1983

ID: MS/023

Creator: Worl, Rosita

Extent: 3.0 Boxes

Languages: Tlingit [tli], English [eng]

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of the research papers of anthropologists Rosita Worl and Chuck Smythe relating to their work for Sealaska Corporation and its effort during the 1970s and 1980s to locate, protect, and preserve historic and sacred sites in Southeast Alaska. Much of this effort was connected to 14(h)(1) legislation for the Conveyance of Cemetery Sites and Historical Places as outlined by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. These efforts also generated cultural information about the historic habitation of the Tlingit and Haida people throughout Southeast Alaska. The sites that Sealaska worked to document and protect with this project included historic village settlements—both permanent and seasonal settlement sites, cemetery or grave sites, sacred sites of cultural value, Petroglyphs/Pictographs, subsistence sites, forts and battle areas, and other sites that are of special interest. This collection is subject to restrictions that seek to protect historic sites and their locations.

Boxes 1-2 contain working and research files, which are comprised of correspondence, notes, transcribed oral history recordings, copies of 18th and 19th century European exploration diaries, and other that document the work and research the Corporation through Worl and Smythe undertook to document the sites in question.

Box 3 contains handwritten transcriptions of Sealaska Historic Sites interview recordings. Currently, the original recordings for these transcriptions are not in the collection. The transcriptions are of six different tapes interviewing four people. One is dated to 1965, while the rest are undated. The interviews contain information on geographical locations and the oral histories associated with them. The interviews are mostly in Tlingit, with little English translation.

RESTRICTIONS: Researchers should know that this collection is not open to the general public, since these materials contain information about 14(h)1 sites. To prevent further vandalism to these sites, only researchers with reasonable cause are allowed to examine these materials.

Biographical Note

<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial; font-size: 10pt;">Rosita Worl, whose Tlingit names areYeidiklatsókw and Kaa háni, is Tlingit, Ch'áak' (Eagle) moiety of the Shangukeidí (Thunderbird) Clan from the Kawdliyaayi Hít (House Lowered From the Sun) in Klukwan.Yeidiklats'okw serves as the President of Sealaska Heritage Institute. She is an anthropologist and for many years served as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Southeast.Yeidiklats'okw has a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Anthropology from Harvard University, and a B.A. from Alaska Methodist University. </span><span lang="EN" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial; font-size: 12.727272033691406px;"><font face="Arial" size="2">She also holds an honorary doctor of sciences degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage. </font></span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial; font-size: 10pt;">Dr. Worl has received many honors and works with several different Native organizations. She is an accomplished lecturer and author.</span>

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Restrictions: Restricted to the public to protect the integrity of 14(h)1 sites, but access can be granted to those with reasonable reason for inquiry. Contact the archivist for further information.

Acquisition Method: The materials in this collection were obtained by SHI prior to 2007 and found amid unprocessed SHI operational records in 2010. Accession # 2010.006.

Related Materials: Some recordings associated with these materials have been cataloged as distinct SHI collections, see MC 37 and 41.

Box and Folder Listing

Box 1: Working files, 1970s-1980s.Add to your cart.
Contains working files on specific Tlingit and Haida sacred sites (Nays Island, Point Incantation, Goddard Burial, Jamboree Bay Village, Port Malmesbury, Point Craven, Security Bay, Icy Straits, and Naukati Creek); includes maps, transcriptions of oral history interviews, and other.
Box 2: Research files, 1970s-1980s.Add to your cart.
Contains copies of published journal entries of early European explorers, scholarly papers presented on archeological sites, and draft papers on archeological sites.
Box 3: Handwritten transcriptions of Sealaska Historic Sites Interview recordings.Add to your cart.
Contains transcriptions from six tapes and four speakers. Those interviewed were: Chester and Elizabeth James on Kake sites; Harry Marvin on Lituya Bay; and Helen Sarabia on Village Point (1965). The interviews are undated, except for Helen Sarabia’s, recorded in 1965. Harry Marvin was interviewed by Wilsey & Ham staff and Jim Austin, who was also an interpreter. Interviewers for the rest of interviews are unknown. Please note that the interviews are mainly in Tlingit, with little English translation.