Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Native Peoples

Count-down:  31 days until departure for Alaskan Adventure!

Tlingit totem from Wikipedia Commons

I found out recently that my grandpa’s grandmother was a Native American.  I always thought Gramps was kidding when he said he was Native American.  He was the kind of guy who said everything with a straight face and you never knew if he was telling a tall tale or the truth.  About fifty percent of the time it was the truth.  My Native American heritage happened to be a truth.  I wish I had talked to him about it before it was too late.  Now he’s gone, and I don’t have any information about her other than the fact that she really was Native American and probably from the New York area.  I hope to have the time eventually to research and discover more about my Native heritage.  In the meantime, it has sparked the desire to learn more about all Native Peoples, their histories and cultures.  

In Alaska, the Native Peoples are divided into eleven different cultures speaking eleven different languages.  I’m hoping that when we are in Anchorage, one of our stops can be the Alaska Native Heritage Center Museum where I can begin my journey to the world of Raven and Whale spirits and learn the meanings behind their totems.  

Here's a list of Native Alaskan Peoples according to the Native Heritage Center Museum:
Raven pole, One Legged Fisherman Pole,
and Killer Whale Pole
From Wikipedia Commons

Alutiiq (Sugpiaq)
St. Lawrence Island Yupik

I'm excited to learn more about each of them and come home with a better appreciation of their cultures and languages.

To learn more about Alaskan Natives check out:

Kathy :)


  1. It is exciting to find out more of your heritage, what lovely names the nations have.

  2. I have a feeling you'll spend the better part of a day at that museum.

  3. When I lived in upstate NY, I was really surprised at how much Native American culture/influence there was. I had some good friends who were Native Americans, and EVERY city (almost) was hard to pronounce because it was a Native American word. I'm betting you could pick up the trail through a few online inquiries.

    True Heroes from A to Z

  4. Very cool! I discovered a while ago that I have native ancestry too, but not nearly a large enough percentage to shout about. Still think it's cool, though. :)

  5. Hi Kathy! I love blogs where you have a chance to learn something, so I enjoyed your post! Unfortunately I know only to well what it's like to wish I had talked to my family members more about the past while they were still with me. I see you are a member of the ISWG. I just joined in the past week or so. I'm planning to work my way through everyone's blog, so I'm starting with you. I shall look forward to hearing about your Alaskan Adventure!

  6. I remember seeing some of the totem poles when I visited Alaska years ago. Really fascinating!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
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  7. My grandmother once told me about her grandmother, who came from the Seneca/Iroquois. I wish I had asked more, but that is all she told me. Now I am searching through her photos and genealogy. HOpe you do the same.