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Heritage Center Grand Opening

Please join us as we celebrate


Grand Opening

of the

Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Heritage Center


Bald Eagle Preserve Visitor Center

May 14, 2016

10:00 am

Klukwan, Alaska



The community of Klukwan would like to thank the following organizations and people who have helped us to realize the dream of completing the Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Heritage Center & Bald Eagle Preserve Visitor Center:

  • The State of Alaska Chilkat Indian Village-Bureau of Indian Affairs Transportation Program
  • The Rasmuson Foundation
  • The Murdock Charitable Trust
  • United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development Loan Program
  • The Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center non profit organization, and through numerous local and non-local supporters who contributed their time, energy, talents, resources and cash throughout the years of our capital campaign.


the organizations and individuals who have contributed to the creation of our exhibits:

  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • National Park Service -Historic Preservation Program
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Surdna Foundation
  • First Peoples Fund
  • Museums Alaska
  • Chilkat Valley Community Foundation
  • Alaska State Museum
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Tree Blessing Ceremony

We had a blessing/thanksgiving in the woods behind Klukwan on January 17, 2014.. We are harvesting some trees from our own tribal lands to build the replica clan house interior where the Whale House collection will be exhibited.  Klukwan elder Joe Hotch helped with the ceremony, talking to the tree and telling it “God made you, and now you are going to live with the Gaanaxteidi people.  Many people from all over the world are going to come and see you.”   It was a special time and a great atmosphere with a balmy mist in amongst the cottonwood and spruce trees. 

Joe Hotch & Jones at JKCHC bldg

After the tree blessing ceremony a handful of us went down to the Heritage Center Building (shell) where Joe Hotch brought out the Brown Bear Chilkat Tunic that was once Chief Kudeinahaa’s.  He said he wanted to bring the Brown Bear tunic out to support the Gaanaxteidi clan–to give strength and encouragement to them as they prepare a new home for their totems.  Jones Hotch Jr. responded with thanks to his father’s people, the Brown Bear House of the Kaagwaantaan, for their show of support.  Jones also remarked that the Brown Bear Tunic was the first at.oow to be brought into the Heritage Center Building.  It was an awesome moment!  Really!  It was such a good feeling to be in the building and to have one of the clan treasures from the village to be brought out in there.   I think it is the first of many awesome events that will be held in the Heritage Center Building.