OPEN AIR CONCERT – From left, musicians Ross Venneberg, Brian Neal, Wade Demmert and Roger Schmidt perform an outdoor brass concert for residents of the Pioneers Home Monday. The professional musicians, who are hunkered down in Sitka, are regulars at the annual Holiday Brass Concert. The Pioneers Home has been closed to visitors during the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Services Set in Yakutat For Lowell Petersen, 75

Lowell Severen Petersen

Lowell Severen Petersen, of Yakutat, set his net for the last time on March 22, 2019. He passed away at Anchorage where he had traveled to cheer on his granddaughter Sanora Bell, a star player for the Mt. Edgecumbe High Braves, who were in final state competition in Anchorage.
Lowell, who had himself played basketball for MEHS, was 75.
Of Tlingit and Norwegian heritage, Lowell was born May 14, 1943, in Yakutat.
His life reflects a deep love of his people and his community. He recently was elected mayor of the City and Borough of Yakutat. He was honored for serving on the Yakutat Assembly for more than 25 years, and was a longtime member of the Planning And Zoning Commission.
He was a lifetime member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 13.
Lowell was a founding president of his village corporation, Yak-Tat Kwaan Inc., founded under the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act of 1971. He was the longest serving president of Yak-Tat Kwaan Inc., holding the office in different terms.
He was one of the founders of Koncor Forest Products, an international forest products marketing company that provided a major revenue base for all the partner villages. Under Lowell’s leadership, dividends exceeding $100 per share ($10,000 per 100) were distributed to shareholders.
His positions of Native leadership lead to very close and long-lasting friendship with Alaska Native leaders and members of Congress and the U.S. Senate as well as members of the state Legislature.
His greatest love in industry and business was fishing for salmon, from his childhood until his final days. He fished with his father and mother, his aunt Mary Thomas and Uncle William and brother Jim Thomas, on the Lost River known as belonging to the great TeiKweidi Chief, Kardeetoo.
He branched out into commercial harvesting of Dungeness crab, so rich at one time in the Gulf of Alaska outside Yakutat. His 36-foot boat, the Cynthia L, made impressive deliveries, next to the large 78-foot crab boats from Washington. Of late he had been troll fishing for salmon on his little troller Doctors Orders.
But what filled his heart, was the arrival of his daughters, Cynthia (1977) and Louise (1980) – hence the name of his fishing vessel, Cynthia L(ouise). He fussed over them to the extent of making sure they had a beautiful home filled with exciting furnishings. And in more recent times, his granddaughters Karrina Bell and Sanora Bell filled his entire being. He finally got the boy he wanted in Dylan Severen Petersen, who is now 12 and was a “sidekick” to his Pappa in all the fisheries, including halibut.
Lowell S. Petersen was preceded in death by his father, Ben Petersen; his mother, Louise Kardeetoo Petersen; brother Edwin Kardeetoo; his Aunt Mother Mary Kardeetoo Thomas; Uncle William Thomas; sister Kathryn Bessie Bremner; and grandmother Jennie Kardeetoo and grandfather Jim Kardeetoo.
He is survived by his daughters, Cynthia L. Petersen and Louise R. Petersen; son Little Billy Williams; his grandchildren Karrina Bell, Sanora Bell, Dylan Severen Petersen; his brother Jim Thomas; and the Owl House, the G’ilNeiX Kwaan.
His relatives and nieces and nephews are extensive in Alaska and in other states.
Lowell will be returned to Yakutat where the Alaska Native Brother memorial service will be held at the Yakutat ANB Hall 7 p.m. Friday, March 29.
The funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at the Yakutat ANB Hall. This will be followed by a traditional dinner at the ANB Hall.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-7-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 11:15 p.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Sunday: 19

Total statewide – 1,184

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (3 resident; 5 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 12 (10 resident; 2 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 78.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.



Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020



For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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