SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Retort: Bridges?
By Don Hoff Jr.


December 16, 2005
Friday AM

I was wondering how I was going to retort young Kevin Mackey's opinion on bridges. I have a couple of responses without creating a war. First you should know my Grandfather was Herman Ridley a Tsimshian from the Killer Whale House. Yaya (meaning grandfather) was born in Metlakatla, Alaska. But he is not indigenous to Annette Island or his history. Yaya is indigenous to Port Simpson, British Columbia and Old Metlakatla, B.C. Kevin, you were born in Seattle and raised in Ketchikan. You are not indigenous to Seattle or Ketchikan. Your indigenous culture and history is in British Columbia. Now, George Williams (My Great-Grandfather) Tongass Tlingit lived in Metlakatla before it was Metlakatla, it was a winter village of the Tongass Tribe or Taan ta Kwaan (Sea lion People) and he had a daughter, Martha Williams, my grandmother.

jpg totem

This is an early picture of the only orginal totem raised in Ketchikan in 1901 by the Tongass Tribe.  Kad Juk Hit or Fabled bird or Golden Eagle.  Known as the Chief Johnson Raven Totem.  The second pole was carved in 1988 and place in its exact spot as the orginal.

There are plenty of other opinions against the bridge in Ketchikan besides mine. The word I am getting is a lot of people won't speak up fearing losing their jobs. I can not blame them.

We truly live in a brainwashed society to think it is okay to desecrate tribal graves on Pennock Island for a bridge to nowhere for economic development. I never said you can't have a bridge to Gravina Island, just not through Pennock Island. Why should the taxpayers pay for roads and bridges for private enterprise? Why should taxpayers pay for a bridge for a few people that purchased property on Pennock Island and Gravina Island? Why don't they use their own money to build roads and bridge? We can not afford them. We have a war to pay for. What about the victims of the hurricanes in the South.

Kevin, I am indigenous to Ketchikan area. Even though my Grandfather is Tsimshian but we always follow our mother's clan and tribe. That makes me Taan ta Kwaan or known as Tongass Tribe. I have an Inherit Right to speak on behalf of my clan or family no matter where I am living.

In closing, you need to speak with your elders and learn about respect for your elders besides learning your history and culture. The lines are clearly drawn about the bridge vs. tribal graves. Don't get caught on the wrong side my little brown brother. This is my opinion.

Merry Christmas to Sitnews readers and writers.

Don Hoff Jr. aka Aan Kadax Tseen
Gaanaax adi Clan
Yei l Hit and Killer Whale House
Taan Ta Kwaan
Hixson, TN - USA

Note: Don Hoff Jr. was born and raised in Ketchikan. He was a resident for 42 years and recently moved to the Chattanooga TN area. He belongs to the Taan ta Kwaan or Tongass Tribe and says he's indigenous to Ketchikan area as far as your eyes can see. Former City Council, Former Vice-Mayor of City of Ketchikan. He said he served his time in politics.


Related Viewpoint:

letter Bridges? By Kevin Mackey - St. Petersburg - Russia



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


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Ketchikan, Alaska