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Harriman Expedition Retraced


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July 23, 2001 Souvenir Album:

Cape Fox; Metlakatla; Ketchikan; Saxman

Images (click images for larger view)

cape fox landing

Very early in the morning, expedition members used Zodiacs (inflatable motorized boats) to land on the shores of Cape Fox. The original Harriman expedition carried away a large number of totem poles, house poles, and other objects from this "deserted" area, including an entire front of a house, which were distributed to museums across the U.S. One of the major goals of the 2001 Harriman expedition was the repatriation of these objects to the Tlingit people. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).

story blankets

As part of a "Celebration of Healing," concluding later in Ketchikan, expedition members brought offerings of food to a fire on the beach prepared by descendants of the old Cape Fox community. Expedition member Rosita Wohl (left) acted as intermediary to Cape Fox representatives Irene Shields (center) and Eleanor Hadden (right). The blankets they are wearing identify their clan affiliations. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).

Harriman's great granddaughter

Representing the Harriman family at the repatriation ceremonies was his great great granddaughter, Marjorie "Kitty" Northrup Friedman, her infant son Ned and husband Peter. At four months of age, Ned was the youngest member of the Harriman Retraced expedition. (Photo by Jonas K. Parker).

Annette Island cannery

Next the expedition stopped at Annette Island and Metlakatla Village. The 1899 Harriman expedition was impressed with the "civilized Natives" of the village, guided by the Scottish missionary William Duncan. In 1915 the Tsimshians revolted against Duncan's authority (and sole control of village profits) and now operate the village industries. Inside the modern fish cannery, these workers are filleting salmon prior to having the fish flash-frozen and packaged for shipment. (Photo by Julia O'Malley).


Every member of the Expedition was given an invitation to a series of events by the Saanya Kwaan to celebrate the return of materials taken from Cape Fox. The invitation was printed over a photo of the objects being prepared for shipment by the original Harriman Alaska Expedition.

Ketchikan dock

A large section of Ketchikan's Tlingit community assembled on the docks, waiting patiently in a light rain for the offloading of their sacred objects. Elders formed honor guards to escort certain objects from the ship, while the larger totem poles were removed by crane. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).

Lt. Gov.

Alaska Lieutenant Governor Fran Ulmer dons a Tlingit blanket as she watched the offloading of sacred objects. Alaska news media, print and electronic, extensively covered the repatriation activities. Native people's civil rights, land ownership, cultural needs and resources needs are all highly visible issues in Alaska state and national politics. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).

Celebrating totems

At the Saxman village civic center, the Tlingit community held a ceremony of purification and forgiveness for the sacred objects repatriated during the Harriman Retraced expedition. The potlatch (a complex combination of party, dinner, and religious ceremony) went on well past midnight. A coffin in one portion of the hall held the remains of a woman who planned for the repatriation ceremony for several years, but died just before the ship arrived. (Photo by Jonas K. Parker).

Exchanging gifts

Saxman elders, descendants of the original Cape Fox inhabitants, exchange gifts with Marjorie Northrop Friedman, great great granddaughter of Edward A. Harriman. (Photo by Jonas K. Parker).

(Community Profile: Ketchikan/Cape Fox)




For information on the Harriman Retraced Expedition e-mail: harriman2001@science.smith.edu

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