GATHERING OF CULTURES – Dorothy Gordon holds year-old Marilyn De La Torre as they perform an entrance song Thursday at the B.J McGillis Gym during the annual Gathering of Cultures. A Tlingit dance group made up of several Sitka Tlingit dance groups opened the gathering. Mt. Edgecumbe High School’s student dance groups representing cultural groups from five regions of Alaska also performed. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

October 23, 2019, Letters to the Editor

ALFA Open House

Dear Editor: Many thanks to all who came out to celebrate Sitka’s fish and fishermen at the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association’s 5th Annual Alaska Day Open House brunch and black cod tip sale! The event included ALFA’s Smoked Seafood Competition.

Thank you to Sea Mart and to everyone who generously donated food for the open house. ALFA would also like to thank the staff of Murray Pacific/LFS and Orion Sporting Goods for generously donating prizes for the ALFA smoked seafood contest. Prize winners of the smoked seafood contest were Steve Ramp and Kent Barkhau. As our star judges, Cindy Edwards and Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, said, every entry was a winner. Thanks are also due to all those who supported ALFA’s work by purchasing a brunch or lunch of grilled black cod tips and rice, as well as to Terry Perensovich and Kent Barkhau for grilling the tips to perfection. It takes a community to host a great event.

Special thanks to Wendy Alderson, Nancy Behnken, Justin Olbrych and Jane Desmond, who were our stellar volunteers before, during and after the event. Thank you, everyone.

This year’s event was focused on Alaskans Own. Alaskans Own is a community-supported fishery program promoting fishery conservation research, initiatives to keep fishing access rights local, and other efforts to ensure the health and longevity of Alaskan fisheries. All profits from Alaskans Own go directly to supporting the Fishery Conservation Network. 

Thanks again to all who attended. A wonderful time (and lots of black cod tips) were had by all.

Linda Behnken and the Staff of Alaska Longline 

Fishermen’s Association


Reconciliation Day

Dear Editor: The time is here, and the time is now, to begin the long process of reconciling and acknowledging the true, complete and accurate history of the State of Alaska. As all men are ‘‘created equal,’’ all perspectives of our history need equal recognition, whether Tlingit, Russian or American (USA), as we commemorate the history of this great land in which we are blessed to live. We must begin with the human history of time immemorial, with the oral and written accounts of the first recorded inhabitants of this land, the Tlingit perspective which has too long been ignored and discounted as either not relevant, not as important as the Russian period, nor the American acquisition. This oppression must stop.  Without the acknowledgement of the true and comprehensive history of this land in the ‘‘Alaska Day’’ festivities, the reenactment of the transfer ceremony, whether atop Castle Hill (Noow Tlein) or at Keet Gooshi Heen, is nothing more than a reminder of the dehumanization, brutality and suffering endured by our indigenous people in the colonization of their lands, by both Russians and Americans, albeit both occupations distinct, giving no place to the memory of what existed prior to that fateful day in Alaskan history, October 18, 1867. 

The historical record of colonization is and was a brutal process, fraught with racism, hatred and ignorance. The repercussions of this perpetuated, probably unintended, disenfranchised inequality, marked by the absence and denial of true history, are manifest through generational trauma in Alaska Native peoples across our State, whether suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, murder of indigenous women, or the complexity of merging two completely different cultures, to name a few. The loss of language, culture, way of life, of eating, being, thinking, working, believing, honoring, celebrating, trapping, fishing, hunting, gathering, joking, or navigating the coastlines caused by the imposition of an uninvited authority who disregarded the critical importance and value of indigenous ways of being is a loss and devastation for all of us.

As Alaskans, geographically separated from the rest of the country, we have a wonderful opportunity to set the record straight, to open the door to reconciliation, healing and comprehension, to be the shining North Star for the ‘‘lower 49,’’ who also face this challenge.

I suggest the Alaska Day Committee recommend to the Sitka Assembly a renaming of this date in Alaskan history as ‘‘Reconciliation Day,’’ and invite the Tlingit people, and all those who stand in solidarity, to the top of Noow Tlien next Oct. 18, to mourn all the losses they have sustained through colonization, and move on through history from there, to mourn and to celebrate the rich, and poignant pageant of our shared human history on this sacred land.

Peering through the fog at the first sighting of a tall ship, respectfully yours,


Karen J. Lucas, Sitka

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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.






March 2004

Photo caption: Fire engines and ambulances shine in the sun outside the new fire hall Saturday during an open house. Hundreds turned out to look over the $4 million facility, which is twice the size of the building it replaced. It features a state-of-the-art exhaust system and much larger offices and a large training room.


March 1974

The Sheldon Jackson Museum will have a special showing of replicas of ancient Tlingit hunting weapons. The replicas were made by A. P. Johnson, a Tlingit  culture instructor and metal arts teacher at SJC.


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