Ellen Hope Hays

Ellen Hope Hays, who made history when she was named superintendent of Sitka National Historical Park, passed away peacefully on Oct. 8, 2013.  She was 85 years old.
Ellen was living at the Sitka Pioneers Home at the time of her death.  She had moved back to Sitka from Bainbridge Island, Wash., in January 2013.
Ellen was born Dec. 29, 1927, the seventh of 14 children born to Andrew and Tillie Hope of Sitka.  She was a Tlingit of the Raven moiety, Kik’sadi Clan and Point House.  Her clan name was Kaa Katlin (Raven Looking Forward).  She was raised and lived much of her life in Alaska.
She married Roger Lang and they had one child, Karen Valorie Lang.  In 1978 she married Henry Hays, and they moved to Bainbridge Island, Wash., in 1994.
Ellen was a graduate of Sheldon Jackson School, and was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from the University of Alaska in 1996.
Ellen spent her professional career with the National Park Service and on July 9, 1974, she became the first woman and the first Alaska Native to be appointed superintendent of a national park in the Pacific Northwest.
She also was the first woman to apply and be accepted as a member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood.  She was instrumental in the Brotherhood’s successful effort to operate the Visitor Center craft shop wing of Sitka National Historical Park, which eventually became known as the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center.
Throughout her life, Ellen promoted the values of art and the humanities.  She served on many boards and commissions that were dedicated to these causes, both in Alaska and Washington. 
Ellen forged many enduring friendships throughout her life.  She was a mentor, friend, and teacher to many.  She was passionate about her family, her heritage, the arts and education.  She believed one should always be learning.
Ellen is survived by her husband, Henry Hays, of Bainbridge Island, Wash.; daughter Karen Coleman of Sitka; granddaughter, Kendra Pountney (Michael) of Sitka; grandson Jerrick Fulkerson of Juneau; and great- grandson Robert Pountney of Sitka.
She is also survived by two brothers, Fred Hope (Margaret) of Sitka,  and Percy Hope of Juneau.  She also has numerous nieces and nephews, and is survived by her dearest friends Herb and Polly Didrickson of Sitka.
A memorial service will be held later in the Fall.  In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances of Ellen to her family (c/o Karen Coleman) at PO Box 92, Sitka, AK  99835.

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At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

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 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

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

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






September 2003

After the season-opening Ketchikan High School swim meet last week, Sitka High swimmer Matt Way is ranked first in the state in the100-meter breaststroke, while Carrington Gorman is ranked second in the 50-meter freestyle.



September 1973

From Around Town: Sitka Historical Society met Sunday at the Centennial Building with the people who had hosted the Historical Room during tour ship visits here. The ladies of the society served a nice Russian Tea from their samovar, and passed around Russian tea cakes.