timistravels

My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Kake (pronounced cake), Alaska! A beautiful Tlingit Community

on May 4, 2012

This was my third visit to Kake this school year.  I went in Sept. (29-30) to work on some community engagement work as well as do a workshop with their school board.  It was my first visit to Kake and I really loved the community.  Over the years when I worked at the University in Juneau (UAS), I have had a lot of students that were from Kake.  They were always very proud of their community and continuously invited me down there to visit Kake and meet their families,  I finally made it.

As per most Tlingit communities in SE Alaska Kake is set in a beautiful location.  It is tucked into island such that the weather doesn’t beat on the community.  The sun shines (a lot more than it was in Juneau as I left) often and it gets less rain than most of SE.  The Tlingit people have lived in the area for thousands of years and were known as being strong and powerful individuals and indeed they are.

Kake has a totem pole that is 128-foot tall.  At one time it was the largest, carved totem in the world, though there is now one larger.  It was carved in 1967.  (see photo).

There is a High School/Middle School building and an elementary school building.  They are near each other so it is easy to go back and forth between the buildings.  The community has a health center, a senior center, fire station, cannery, hatchery, grocery store and more!  The Alaska Marine Highway ferry system goes to Kake a few times a month, so many people bring a vehicle to Juneau, fill it with goods and take it back home!  Shopping at its best!

This spring during my 2 visits I helped them find a new superintendent, which means I will have one more trip there this fall, hopefully in Aug. I would love to get here in July when they do their Dog Salmon Festival where the community shares and celebrates their long history with fishing!

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