If you’re considering a visit to Metlakatla, Alaska, you should know the basics. This unincorporated Tsimshian village is a census-designated place with a vibrant Tsimshian community and scenic views. You’ll need your map, your camera, and plenty of patience.
It is a census-designated place
The city of Metlakatla, Alaska, is a census-designated place in southern Alaska. The population was 1,375 at the 2000 census. The 2010 census recorded a slightly higher population, at 1,405 people. It is the major settlement of the Metlakatla Indian Community, which is the last remaining Native American reserve in Alaska.
The name Metlakatla is derived from the Tsimshian language, “Maxlakxaala,” meaning saltwater passage. It is named for the Old Metlakatla village, which sits on Metlakatla Pass near Prince Rupert. The village is located on land that was once part of the Taquan Tlingit territory. The tribe’s land is now owned by the federal government.
It has a thriving Tsimshian community
The Tsimshian language, Shim-al-Gyack, is still spoken by a small number of Metlakatla residents. There are groups of individuals interested in teaching this language to the younger generations. However, this effort has so far not been successful, because the younger generation is not as well-versed in the language as the older generation. This is partly due to the fact that the language is not spoken on a regular basis.
The Tsimshian have a long history and developed extensive trading networks over millennia. These groups traded by canoe along the coast and rivers. They were also involved in trade of furs and basketry. The Tsimshian also traded in slaves.
The Tsimshian people are part of a nation of First Nations living in northwest British Columbia. They live in seven villages along the Skeena River, the estuary, and near the Milbanke Sound. In the past, their communities were inhabited by people from other tribes.
The Tsimshian people have a belief in a life after death. Their culture also includes a feast and memorial to honor the dead. Formerly, a totem pole was erected to honor a deceased chief’s memory. Today, a stone monument is used instead. The Tsimshian people also believe that new born children are the reincarnations of the deceased.
It has beautiful views
Located on Annette Island, Metlakatla is the home of the beautiful Tsimshian people. You can take a guided tour of the area to learn about their culture and traditional dance and drumming. You can enjoy the breathtaking view of Mt. Tamgas while you’re here.
It has hiking trails
The Metlakatla Wilderness Trail was dedicated last Friday at a grand opening ceremony in Metlakatla Village. The ceremony was held near the trailhead near the north end of the village. Many groups and organizations were present to mark the grand opening of the trail. Funding was provided by Coast Sustainability Trust, Ridley Terminals, Metlakatla development Corporation, and the BC Construction Association. Elders from the village blessed the new trail.
The 20-km roundtrip trail follows the coastline. It features a 5.5-km all-weather gravel surface and a three-kilometer cedar boardwalk. The trails are clearly marked and follow the contours of the coastal shoreline. They are also scenic. Along the way, you’ll pass three suspension bridges and walk through the forest canopy to a viewpoint.
The Metlakatla Indian Community is located on Annette Island, in the Inside Passage. The Tsimshian people have lived on the island since 1887. In the 1950s, it was designated a federal reserve, giving the Metlakatla Tsimshian exclusive use of the island.
It has a Bingo/Gaming Hall
If you are looking for a fun activity while on vacation, METLAKATLA has a bingo/gaming hall. This bingo hall is located in the Metlakatla community and is known for its large-scale bingo games. The hall seats more than 100 people at a time. This establishment also houses 90 gaming machines, including slot machines and automated blackjack.
Although tribes can legally own slot machines, they cannot offer them for real money. Alaska has no state lottery or gaming commission, but it does regulate community bingo halls that offer bingo-style gaming machines and pull-tab games. Several international cruise ships stop in this state for their stops, which provides additional revenue for the state.
METLAKATLA’s new bingo hall is 19,000 square feet and smoke and alcohol-free. The venue features a variety of pull-tab games and monthly promotions, including a 50/50 Split the Pot. It also offers electronic bingo tablets.
It has a traditional longhouse
Metlakatla, Alaska, is home to a Tsimshian Tribe. They have a tradition of longhouses. A new one is being built on a bluff overlooking Hood Canal south of their tribal center. The entrance totems include the Clam Diggers’ Pole, Mill Workers’ Pole, and Fishermen’s Pole. Additionally, six additional totems will be used in the interior construction details of the longhouse.
The longhouse is one of the most popular attractions in Metlakatla. It faces the harbor and features performances by local Tsimshian dancers. Visitors will be able to see artifacts and view the tribal people’s traditional lifestyle. It is home to about 50 people.
Although the Tsimshian culture was suppressed by missionaries in the 1800s, it has gained popularity in recent years. The longhouse, which is made of cedar, is surrounded by artifacts and artwork that depict the Tsimshian culture.