SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Agriculture Secretary to attend Klawock Reburial Ceremony


September 25, 2008

Ketchikan, Alaska - Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer, the cabinet-level head of the U.S. Forest Service, will attend an historic tribal ceremony this week on Prince of Wales Island, as tribal leaders rebury the remains of a man who lived on the island more than 10,000 years ago.

The communities of Klawock and Craig will host the commemoration Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26 and 27. Tribal leaders and elders, along with hundreds of guests will honor and welcome home their ancestor, referred to as Shuká Kaa, the "Man ahead of us," over the two days.

The remains were discovered in 1996 during archaeological inspections in a small cave on Prince of Wales, within the Tongass National Forest. Mitochondrial DNA testing identified the young man as Native American. The remains were returned to the tribes in a separate ceremony last summer, and will be permanently interred in a private tribal location.

Secretary Schafer will arrive on Prince of Wales Friday, along with Alaska Regional Forester Denny Bschor from Juneau and Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole from Ketchikan. The group will tour historic and important tribal locations, and will also participate in the community dinner and ceremonies that evening.

The homecoming ceremony will mark the end of a long journey for Shuká Kaa, and highlights the productive government-to-government partnership that has developed between the tribal governments and the Alaska Region Forest Service.


Source of News:

USDA - Forest Service - Tongass National Forest

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Ketchikan, Alaska