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Keki, Jim (1867-1928) | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Name: Keki, Jim (1867-1928)

Historical Note:

Swanson Harbor Jim (1867-1928), also known as Jim Keki (Tlingit names; Geek’ee and Nadzann), was a Tlingit fisherman who lived in Southeast Alaska all of his life, fishing primarily between Juneau and Hoonah, Alaska. He was a Raven of the L’uknax.ádi Clan of Swanson Harbor, and Wooshkeetaan yádi.

Swanson Harbor Jim was the son of Berner’s Bay Jim (Tlingit names; Tl’oogu Tsees and Aanxhoodaas’) (d. 1929), an íxt’ (shaman) of the Toos’ Hít. Swanson Harbor Jim’s mother Kaaxhaxweit, was a Raven of the L’uknax.ádi Clan, L’ook Hít of Auke Bay.

Swanson Harbor Jim lived primarily at Juneau, where he raised his family and worked as a fisherman. In 1902 Swanson Harbor Jim and Neikee Tlaa (who went by Mary), an Eagle of the Wooshkeetaan Clan, Thunderbird House of Juneau, had a child named George Jim Sr. (1902-1997), who later became an important cultural leader in the Tlingit community. Neikke Tlaa had two additional children, daughters Yeekuxwuduhaan and L’ít’t. Swanson Harbor Jim reportedly spent a great deal of time with his children, teaching them to “hunt, fish, and trap.”

On January 4, 1928 Swanton Harbor Jim passed away in the U.S. Government Hospital in Juneau, reportedly of coronary sclerosis. He was buried in Juneau a few days later.

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N.M. Dauenhauer & R. Dauenhauer, Haa Kusteeyi: Our Culture; Tlingit Life Stories (University of Washington Press, 1994), 297-304.

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James MacPherson, “Swanson Harbor Jim’s Remains Return Home,” Juneau Empire (April 19, 1999).

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