Huna Totem Corp. partners with Glacier Bay Lodge on cultural programs
July 11, 2011
Tlingit interpreters Alice Haldane and Bertha Franulovich share traditional stories and songs in a program called “Tlingit Fireside Stories” in the Glacier Bay Lodge lobby. They also display and discuss traditional art, tools and regalia and lead an informal discussion. The presentation takes place on alternate Saturdays through the summer (July 23, August 13 and August 27).
A more formal program called “A Waterway of Life” introduces guests to the Tlingit people and their connection to Sit’ Eeti Gheeyi, the Tlingit name for Glacier Bay. Led by a Tlingit interpreter, the presentation is held in the Glacier Bay Lodge theater on alternate Mondays (July 11, July 25, August 15 and August 29).
The Glacier Bay Lodge offers the only accommodations in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, and is located near Gustavus.
“We tested the programs at Glacier Bay Lodge in June and were really pleased at the response they drew from both travelers and locals from Gustavus,” said Mark McKernan, Huna Totem Corp.’s Director of Cultural Interpretive Services. “Partnering with Glacier Bay Lodge and the National Park Service is just a natural fit for us because visitors must get to know the Tlingit people and the culture to fully comprehend Glacier Bay.”
Glacier Bay is the traditional homeland of the Huna Tlingit people and is rich with the history, traditions and stories passed between the generations. Through lectures, storytelling, singing, personal interaction and displays of art and craftsmanship, interpreters share their connection to Glacier Bay to visitors from around the world.
In addition to the new lodge-based presentations, Huna Totem Corp.’s cultural interpreters work aboard 154 Holland America Line, Alaskan Dream Cruises and Lindblad Expeditions cruise ships throughout the summer season. The interpreters discuss personal experiences, clan and family traditions and the historic use of the Glacier Bay area. Guests learn about traditional subsistence practices and are exposed to traditions that have sustained the Huna Tlingit people dating back thousands of years.
McKernan joined the Huna Totem Corp. staff in April and made it a priority to expand the cultural interpretive programs in the area, so more travelers could benefit and learn about the Tlingit culture.
Huna Totem Corp. is the Native village corporation that represents the Tlingit people in Hoonah, who have ancestral ties to Glacier Bay. The corporation also owns and operates Icy Strait Point, a private cruise ship destination 50 miles west of Juneau and 22 miles from Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Icy Strait Point allows guests to step into an Alaska experience with Native Tlingit culture, unspoiled wilderness and Alaska-sized adventures.
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Details about the cultural interpretation program
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