Sharing Our Knowledge


Sharing Our Knowledge

The Tlingit and Their Coastal Neighbors

Edited by Sergei Kan, with Steve Henrikson

544 pages
135 images, 6 maps, 4 tables, index


March 2015


$65.00 Add to Cart

December 2023


$45.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

March 2015


$45.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Sharing Our Knowledge brings together Native elders, tradition bearers, educators, cultural activists, anthropologists, linguists, historians, and museum professionals to explore the culture, history, and language of the Tlingit people of southeast Alaska and their coastal neighbors. These interdisciplinary, collaborative essays present Tlingit culture, as well as the culture of their coastal neighbors, not as an object of study but rather as a living heritage that continues to inspire and guide the lives of communities and individuals throughout southeast Alaska and northwest British Columbia. 
This volume focuses on the preservation and dissemination of Tlingit language, traditional cultural knowledge, and history from an activist Tlingit perspective. Sharing Our Knowledge also highlights a variety of collaborations between Native groups and individuals and non-Native researchers, emphasizing a long history of respectful, cooperative, and productive working relations aimed at recording and transmitting cultural knowledge for tribal use and promoting Native agency in preserving heritage. By focusing on these collaborations, the contributors demonstrate how such alliances have benefited the Tlingits and neighboring groups in preserving and protecting their heritage while advancing scholarship at the same time.

Author Bio

Sergei Kan is a professor of anthropology at Dartmouth College. He is the editor and author of several books, including Russian American Photographer in Tlingit Country: Vincent Soboleff in Alaska; Memory Eternal: Tlingit Culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity through Two Centuries; and Symbolic Immortality: Tlingit Potlatch of the Nineteenth Century. Kan visits southeastern Alaska regularly and has been actively involved in organizing periodic Tlingit clan conferences. Steve Henrikson is a curator of collections at the Alaska State Museum and is an adjunct instructor at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. He specializes in Tlingit material culture and art. Henrikson has lived in Juneau, Alaska, for many years.


"Sharing Our Knowledge is a welcome reassessment of the field of Tlingit studies, but it is also far more than that, since it breaks new ground on so many different fronts, particularly its approach to collaborative and community-based research."—David Arnold, American Indian Culture and Research Journal

“A number of quite moving contributions. . . . Typically, the more interesting a book is, the more tangents are available to readers. This book sent this reviewer on numerous tangents. Highly Recommended.”—M. Ebert, Choice

"A necessary read for anybody living in Tlingit territory."—Michael Bach, Alaska Journal of Anthropology

"A welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university Native American Studies collections and supplemental Indigenous Anthropology curriculum studies lists."—Midwest Book Review

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Sergei Kan

Part 1. Our Elders and Teachers

1. Shotridge in Philadelphia: Representing Native Alaskan Peoples to East Coast Audiences

Robert W. Preucel

2. Louis Shotridge: Preserver of Tlingit History and Culture

Lucy Fowler Williams

3. This Is Kux_aankutaan’s (Dr. Frederica de Laguna’s) Song

Chew Shaa (Elaine Abraham) and Daxootsu (Judith Ramos)

4. Mark Jacobs Jr./Gusht’ei’héen (1923–2005)

Harold Jacobs

5. X’eig_aa ?aa (Tlingit Warrior)

Harold Jacobs

6. Mark Jacobs Jr./Gusht’eihéen: My Teacher, Friend, and Older Brother

Sergei Kan

7. World War II Scuttlebutt: Naval Section Bases, Southeast Alaska

Mark Jacobs Jr.

8. Poems by Andrew Hope III

Introduced by Ishmael Hope

9. As Long as the Work Gets Done

Peter Metcalfe

10. Revival and Survival: Two Lifetimes in Tlingit

Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer

Part 2. Native History

11. Tlingit Interaction with Other Native Alaskan and Northwest Coast Ethnic Groups before and during the Russian Era

Elena Piterskaya

12. Relating Deep Genealogies, Traditional History, and Early Documentary Records in Southeast Alaska: Questions, Problems, and Progress

Judith Berman

13. Whose Justice? Traditional Tlingit Law and the Deady Code

Diane Purvis

14. Bringing to Light a Counternarrative of Our History: B. A. Haldane, Nineteenth-Century Tsimshian Photographer

Mique’l Icesis Dangeli

Part 3. Subsistence, Natural Resources, and Ethnogeography

15. Haida and Tlingit Use of Seabirds from the Forrester Islands, Southeast Alaska

Madonna L. Moss

16. Deiki Noow: Tlingit Cultural Heritage in the Hazy Islands

Steve J. Langdon

17. Place as Education’s Source

Thomas F. Thornton

Part 4. Material Culture, Art, and Tourism

18. Skidegate Haida House Models

Robin K. Wright

19. The Evolution of Tlingit Daggers

Ashley Verplank McClelland

20. Tourists and Collectors: The New Market for Tlingit and Haida Jewelry at the Turn of the Century

Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse

21. Opening the Drawer: Unpacking Tlingit Beadwork in Museum Collections and Beyond

Megan A. Smetzer

22. Balancing Protocol and Law for Intellectual Property: Examples and Ethical Dilemmas from the Northwest Coast Art Market

Alexis C. Bunten

Part 5. Repatriation

23. A Killer Whale Comes Home: Neil Kúxdei woogoot, Kéet S’aaxw, Mark Jacobs Jr., and the Repatriation of a Clan Crest Hat from the Smithsonian Institution

R. Eric Hollinger and Harold Jacobs

24. Building New Relationships with Tlingit Clans: Potlatch Loans, NAGPRA, and the Penn Museum

Stacey O. Espenlaub




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