|Seal of the City of Klawock|
Klawock was originally a summer fishing camp for a particular group of Tlingits who normally wintered at the north end of Prince of Wales Island in the sheltered village of Tuxekan. The fishing camp's location was chosen because of where the salmon left the salt water and entered the Klawock River to go upstream to spawn. In 1868, a trading post and salmon saltery were built in Klawock, and in 1878, Alaska's first salmon cannery was erected there. Klawock eventually became the permanent community, and Tuxekan was abandoned.
|Salmon can from the first cannery in Alaska, in Klawock,. Hand soldered and labeled, ca. 1890s. North Pacific Trading and Packing Co. Image from Alaska State Museum.|
|Totems at Old Tuxekan, 1910. Alaska State Library.|
|Klawock Totem Park, 1967. 1st generation of poles. Alaska State Digital Archives.|
|Miriam Robbins, Klawock Totem Park, September 1971. Noticing the broken toe and faded paint on this bear totem, I believe this also is a first generation totem.|
My family was informally adopted into the tribe by Katherine (Skan) Rowan. She made the dress and blanket I'm wearing in the photo below.
|Dog Salmon Screen on front of clan house, Tuxekan. University of Washington Library.|
So what does this have to do with genealogy? Because I grew up in a culturally rich environment, my parents recognized the importance of teaching me my own heritage. I firmly believe that my interest in genealogy and history was nurtured by my Native Alaskan community, Tlingit cultural classes at school, and Dutch heritage celebrations and family history at home.