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Hays, Ellen Hope (1927-2013) | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Name: Hays, Ellen Hope (1927-2013)

Historical Note:

Dr. Ellen Hope Hays (1927-2013) was the daughter of Andrew P. Hope (1869-1968). She was a Tlingit Indian activist, community leader, and cultural educator. She was of the Raven moiety, Kiks.ádi Clan, and X’aaká Hít (Point House). Her Tlingit name was Kaakaltín (Raven Looking Forward). She obtained her basic education from Sheldon Jackson Boarding School in Sitka and later studied at the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka campus. Early on she became active in Tlingit affairs at Sitka. She joined the Alaska Native Sisterhood and Alaska Federation of Natives, worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, and the National Park Service, becoming superintendent of the Sitka Historical Park—the first indigenous individual to hold the position. She sat on many boards and served to guide many aspects of Alaskan affairs. She was a Sealaska and Shee Atika shareholder. In 1996 University of Alaska Southeast conferred an honorary Doctorate of Law upon Hays. Early in life she married Roger Lang and they had one child, Karen Valorie Lang. In 1978 she married Henry Hays. Hays passed away in Sitka in October 2013.

Ellen Hope Hays was also interviewed about her life and work as part of Alaska’s Project Jukebox, and the audio for her interview can be listened to at the link provided below. http://jukebox.uaf.edu/Sitka/program/htm/ElHa.htm


Marie Olson, “Ellen Hope Hays,” Raven’s Bones Journal 5, no. 1 (Nov. 1996): 5, 8.

Obituary, Sitka Sentinel (Oct. 11, 2013)

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