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OUR DISCOVERY

Metlakatla, (population 1404) was established in 1887, by the Anglican Missionary William Duncan and 823 Tsimshian People who migrated from British Columbia to the Annette Islands in Alaska. The area that was settled was established as New Metlakatla on August 7 of that year, and was later set aside as a federally recognized Reserve in 1891. This designated the island for the exclusive use of the Metlakatla Indian Community and other Alaskan Natives.

Metlakatla has now grown into a prosperous and beautiful community that provides quality cultural, educational, and hands-on experiences with indigenous Tsimshian people and their native island.

It is the only Tsimshian settlement in the United states where you can explore true Tsimshian culture.

DUNCAN MEMORIAL

CHURCH & GRAVESITE

Missionary and Lay Minister William Duncan founded the church in 1889 as a center for social and spiritual activities for Metlakatla.

Although it is not the original church itself that stands here today, it is to this day a reminder of the root and foundation of Metlakatla and its rich history.

In addition to being the original site of William Duncan’s “Westminster Abbey”, the grounds here are also home to William Duncan’s original gravesite and headstone.

THE LONGHOUSE

Metlakatla’s traditional Longhouse was built as a true community building in 1972. It was meant to be a place to practice our growing cultural demands.

Dances, potlatches, and other events that celebrate the Tsimshian way of life are held here, and 9 months out of the year local dance groups use it as a place to practice their song and dance.

The building was fashioned after a traditional Tsimshian Longhouse. As a true Tsimshian Longhouse: Faces the water and on the front of the building there is the four clan mural that features the four main clans of the Tsimshian people. The four clan mural distinguishes it as a community building where all clans are welcome. The Longhouse also features many other works of art and photos that document Metlakatla’s cultural history. In addition to the art in the Longhouse, there are two totem poles standing at the back entrance of the building. The Grand-mother and Git Gil Howlie totem poles are two of 16 totem poles standing throughout the community that tell stories of our town’s rich history and people through the work of some Metlakatla’s most talented artists.

THE LONGHOUSE

Metlakatla’s traditional Longhouse was built as a true community building in 1972. It was meant to be a place to practice our growing cultural demands.

Dances, potlatches, and other events that celebrate the Tsimshian way of life are held here, and 9 months out of the year local dance groups use it as a place to practice their song and dance.

The building was fashioned after a traditional Tsimshian Longhouse. As a true Tsimshian Longhouse: Faces the water and on the front of the building there is a four clan mural that features the main clans of the Tsimshian people. The four clan mural distinguishes it as a community building where all clans are welcome. The Longhouse also features many other works of art and photos that document Metlakatla’s cultural history. In addition to the art in the Longhouse, there are two totem poles standing at the back entrance of the building. The Grand-mother and Git Gil Howlie totem poles are two of 16 totem poles standing throughout the community that tell stories of our town’s rich history and people through the work of some Metlakatla’s most talented artists.