Learn About Alaska Native Culture
Long before Russian settlers and American pioneers came to Sitka, it was home to the Tlingit people. Although Sitka is more diverse now, its population is still around 16 percent Alaska Native. Visit the Sheet-ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Community House to meet Tlingit people who carry on their rich traditions through authentic storytelling, cultural events, songs, and dances. At the community house, watch the mesmerizing Naa Kahídi Dance Performance that incorporates box drums and burning cedar. Located at the original site of the Indian Government School, the Sheet-ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Community House also includes a gift shop featuring Alaska Native artwork and the largest, hand-carved house screen. For a unique juxtaposition of Russian and Alaska Native cultures, visit Totem Square to see anchors, a cannon, and double-headed eagle totem poles. Visit the Blockhouse replica to learn about the Battle of 1804 and the enclosed fortress designed to prevent altercations between Russians and Tlingits.
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