People

Six Tlingit men, five of whom wear ceremonial garb including headdresses and intricately patterned robes.

Photograph of Tlingit in Sitka by E.W. Merrill.

The Tlingit: "People on the Outside of Shee"
Sustained by the ocean for centuries, the Tlingit enjoyed a rich cultural life and established many villages along the panhandle, including Shee Atika on Baranof Island, which meant “people on the outside of Shee."

 
Two-story Russian Bishop's House surrounded by wood picket fence with mountains in the background, circa 1850.

Historic photograph of the Russian Bishop's House

The Russians: 1791 – 1867
Baranov’s quest took him from his first headquarters on Kodiak Island southeast to the Tlingit village of Shee Atika, which, in 1804, the Russians replaced with their own settlement, New Archangel (Novo Archangelsk), later called Sitka.

Learn more about the Russians

 
A close-up of the painted portrait of Margareth Etholen wearing a white lace dress with curled dark brown hair.

Margareth Etholen, wife of the colony's governor, influenced the founding of the Lutheran Church in Sitka.

The Finnish Connection: 1794 - 1867
The "Finnish Connection" was significant and enduring. Finnish men and women sought their fortunes in Russian America, leaving a lasting impression seen in the Lutheran Church, Russian Bishop's House, and St. Michael's Cathedral.

Learn more about the Finnish Connection

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