Haa Aani, Our Land

Tlingit and Haida Land Rights and Use

Walter R. Goldschmidt and Theodore H. Haas Edited with an Introduction by Thomas F. Thornton

  • $37.95s paperback (9780295976396) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 1998
  • Subject Listing: Anthropology
    Native American Studies
    Western History
  • Bibliographic information: 260 pp., 17 illus., 13 maps, appendixes, bibliog., index
  • Territorial rights: world
  • Published with: Sealaska Heritage Foundation
  • Contents

“With everybody wanting to come to Alaska, we are afraid that we are going to lose everything and earnestly request the Government to give us protection and set aside for us the lands which are ours by aboriginal rights.”—Chilkoot Indian Association, 1946

In the early 1940s, a boom in white migration to Southeast Alaska brought questions of land and resource rights to courts of law, where neither precedence nor evidence was sufficient to settle claims. In 1946, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs assigned a team of researchers—anthropologist Walter Goldschmidt, lawyer Theodore Haas, and Tlingit schoolteacher and interpreter Joseph Kahklen—to go from village to village to interview old and young alike to discover who owned and used the lands and waters and under what rules. Their mimeographed report, “The Possessory Rights of the Natives of Southeastern Alaska,” established strong historical evidence to support Native land claims.

Haa Aaní, Our Land publishes this monumental study in book form for the first time. A reminiscence by Walter Goldschmidt and introduction by Thomas Thornton explain the genesis, context, and significance of the original report. Previously uncirculated testimony from the original 88 witnesses is included, along with a bibliography and an index of names, clans, and resources.

Walter Goldschmidt is professor emeritus of anthropology at UCLA. The late Theodore H. Haas was in 1946 chief counsel for the Office of Indian Affairs. Thomas Thornton is assistant professor of anthropology, University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.

A Note on the Pronunciation and Spelling of Native Words
Introduction: Who Owned Southeast Alaska? by Thomas F. Thornton
Remembering Alaska by Walter R. Goldschmidt

Possessory Rights of the Natives of Southeast Alaska by Walter R. Goldschmidt and Theodore H. Haas
Part One: General Overview
- I. Nature of the Investigation
- II. Customary Land Use and Rights of the Tlingit and Haida
- III. Natural Products Utilized in the Native Economy
Part Two: Detailed Examination
- IV. Chilkat Territory
- V. Juneau (Auk) and Douglas (Taku) Territory
- VI. Yakutat Territory
- VII. Hoonah Territory
- VIII. Sitka Territory
- IX. Angoon Territory
- X. Wrangell (Stikine) Territory
- XI. Saxman and Ketchikan Territory
- XII. Kasaan Territory
- XIII. Kake Territory
A. Native Testimony
B. Natural Resources Commonly Used by Natives of Southeast Alaska
C. Maps and Charts
Index of Resources, Clans, and People