Metlakatla, Alaska Cruise Port, 2018 and 2019 Cruises to Metlakatla, Alaska | The Cruise Web
 

Metlakatla, Alaska Cruise Port

Solace and serenity reign in the tiny town of Metakatla, Alaska. It’s the only remaining federally recognized Alaskan Indian reserve. The Annette Island reserve was founded in the late 19th century by missionaries who wanted land where the Tsimshian Indians could continue practicing aspects of their native heritage while the head minister, William Duncan, forbade them from speaking their native tongues, performing ceremonial dances, and practicing other cultural rites. The natives today are believed to hold mixed feeling regarding Duncan, having lost much of their heritage due to his beliefs. While the reservation sits on 86,000 acres, the population is around 1,500 and the people are self-sufficient, relying on hunting and fishing for their personal needs. The town itself is quite small, but the wilderness is vast and perfect for exploration, particularly by guided tour so you don’t miss out on the culturally significant aspects of the island.

 

  • Tackle the vast wilderness that offers many unique trails that were originally formed and then developed as offshoots from logging activities.
     
  • Visit the Duncan Memorial Church and gravesite. Even though it isn’t the original church Duncan had built upon settlement it serves as a reminder of those early days.
     
  • Experience more of the native culture and stop by the Longhouse. Built in 1972 and fashioned after traditional Tsimshian design, this cultural center is a place to celebrate the traditional ways and where local dance troops practice their art.
     
  • Check out the community arts center to see the natives craft and display totems, and witness song and dance performances by local dancers in full regalia.
     

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