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Tlingit & Haida’s mission is to preserve our sovereignty, enhance our economic and cultural resources, and promote self-sufficiency and self-governance for our citizens.

The goal of long-term Indigenous stewardship of the Mendenhall Glacier Recreational Area is to build an adaptive and effective framework that restores balance and enables Tlingit & Haida to execute our ancestral stewardship responsibilities to the lands, waters, and wildlife we have related with since time immemorial.

A Message from President Peterson:
“These lands are the traditional territory of our people. As a federally recognized tribe, it’s our responsibility to steward these lands on behalf of our people.”

Southeast Traditional Tribal Values
“Our Way of Life”

  • Discipline and Obedience to the Traditions of our Ancestors
  • Respect for Self, Elders, and Others
  • Respect for Nature and Property
  • Patience
  • Pride in Family, Clan, and Tradition is found in Love, Loyalty, and Generosity
  • Be Strong in Mind, Body, and Spirit
  • Humor
  • Hold Each Other Up
  • Listen Well and with Respect
  • Speak with Care
  • We are Stewards of the Air, Land, and Sea
  • Reverence for Our Creator
  • Live in Peace and Harmony
  • Be Strong and Have Courage

Live in Peace and Harmony
The definition, ethics, and exercise of stewardship are embedded within the Lingít language and by living our traditional values and lifeways. To protect Haa Aaní is to live in accordance with Haa Shagóon - a Tlingit value that ties the past, the present, and the future together.

Speak with Care
As you take in the beauty of our traditional homelands, we encourage you to respect our traditional values and speak with care. When discussing our sacred sites, we also encourage you to learn and practice their traditional names in our languages. Below is a list of Lingít phrases that will be of use to you:

  • Gunalchéesh – Thank you
  • Yakʼéi ix̱wsateení – Itʼs good to see you
  • Yakʼéi – They are good; it is good
  • Aaa – Yes
  • Tléikʼ – No
  • Áakʼw Tʼáak Sít’ – The Glacier Upland from Áakʼw (Mendenhall Glacier)
  • Sít’ Aant’aakú – The Glacier Behind Town (Mendenhall Glacier)
  • Wooch Eelʼóox̱ʼu Héen – Runs Itself Murky River (Mendenhall River)
  • Kax̱dig̱oowu Héen – Runs Clean River (Montana Creek)
  • Tlax̱satanjín – Hands at Rest [Mountain] (Heintzleman Ridge / Thunder Mountain)
  • Áakʼw Tʼáak – Inland of Áakʼw (Mendenhall Valley)
  • Áak’w – Little Lake (Auke Lake)
  • Áakʼw Tá – Head of Áakʼw [Bay] (Auke Bay)

Many of our places have multiple names; both Áakʼw Tʼáak Sít’ and Sít’ Aant’aakú are correct.

Here are some suggested questions to ask our Cultural Ambassadors:

  1. How long have the Tlingit people been here?
  2. What is the purpose of the Cultural Ambassador program?

Co-Stewardship in the News

For more information, please contact the Cultural Ambassador Program.
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