Huna Tribal House Return To Homeland Special Event

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Date: February 19, 2016
Contact: Mary Beth Moss, 907-945-1220
Contact: Tom VandenBerg, 907-697-2619

BARTLETT COVE, AK –A long awaited dream becomes reality on August 25, 2016 as the Huna Tribal House, named Xunaa Shuká Hít by Huna clan leaders, opens its doors on the shores of Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park. The presence of elaborate carvings, hand crafted canoes, and traditional songs will enrich this very special "Return to Homeland" celebratory event, jointly planned by the Huna clans, the National Park Service (NPS) and the Hoonah Indian Association (HIA).

From its inception, the Tribal House has been a cooperative effort between the NPS and HIA; park staff and tribal employees collaborated on the architectural design; completion of various cultural elements including house screens, houseposts, and totem poles; operational plans; and educational strategies. Generous support from Sealaska and Huna Heritage Foundation and the wisdom of clan leaders, community elders, and culture bearers have also benefited the project.

For tribal members, the Xunaa Shuká Hít, is an anchor to their Glacier Bay homeland. The facility will serve as a gathering place where tribal members can reconnect with their treasured homeland through ceremonies, workshops, camps, tribal meetings and other events. It will also provide thousands of park visitors with opportunities to learn about Huna Tlingit history, culture, and life ways. Additionally, the building will offer a venue for appropriate NPS administrative functions.  For both partners, it represents the fruits of an evolving-and strengthening-relationship.

The event is expected to attract hundreds of tribal members who will breathe life into the Tribal House - evidence of their enduring connection to Glacier Bay. The Xunaa Shuká Hít will become a place of discovery and of reconnection for generations to come.

The National Park Service is honored to support this ongoing partnership and its historic, one of a kind, cultural preservation project as it celebrates its 100th birthday. Plans are currently in development for the event. Stay tuned for details as information is updated regularly at https://go.nps.gov/tribalhouseevent2016

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Last updated: February 19, 2016

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