Mayflower Island across from the Douglas Indian Village was a traditional subsistence site which yielded a once healthy herring run and spawn for Tribal inhabitants. Mayflower Island was taken over by the Bureau of Land Management.
Tribal members spent winters at the Douglas Indian Village while others built their homes in the Juneau Indian Village. Traditional use campsites were located south of downtown Juneau on the shores of what is now Thane Road, Dupont, Point Salisbury, Point Bishop and beyond. Tribal members also spent summers at numerous fish camps on the Taku River. Children attended Mayflower Island School which was established by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) at the request of the Tribe. The school was later taken into ownership by the City of Douglas.
SITES OF CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
The following photos show two current sites of historic and cultural significance and importance to the Douglas Indian Association.
BIA Native School in Douglas
The Tribe lobbied the BIA for a safe school for its children resulting in Mayflower School. When vacated, the Tribe was to become its owners. Instead, it was transferred to the City of Douglas following the 1962 destruction of the Douglas Indian village, and is now operated as a Montessori preschool.
TRADITIONAL & HISTORICAL LAND USES
Tlingit fisherman on the Taku Inlet
Before 1970, both Alaskans and non-Alaskans were allowed to commercially fish. Tribal families remained enthusiastic and strong in their vibrant fishing livelihoods and careful stewardship over the resources offered by the land and sea. Eventually, the influx of outside fishermen spurred the creation of the Limited Entry fisheries program which was based on a point system. Points were “earned” through a complex system, that denied points if a person did not fish during a particular year. Although some Native families were awarded permits, many more were denied, especially since Limited Entry was activated during the Vietnam War era when many Tribal members were away and overseas serving in the Armed Forces.
The Limited Entry system was forced on all who wanted to fish commercially. This worked out for some, but not for others, especially Alaska Native families whose primary livelihood, means of support and food source for their families, was fishing. When Limited Entry was conceived, there was no consultation with Tribes and Tribal members directly affected by this new law – including those whose restricted deed or “Trust” properties were connected with the Tribe’s fishing rights and fully warranted protection by the U.S. Government.
Traditional & Historical Territory of the A`akw Kwáan & T`aaku Kwáan
The map on the right shows the aboriginal use and ownership, as well as uses in 1946, of the lands within the DIA’s traditional Tribal territory. Documented Tlingit settlements include: Jaw Point on the Taku River; Taku Harbor; Pt. Salisbury and Pt. Bishop; Dupont, Thane, Sheep Creek; South Douglas, Sandy Beach, Mayflower Island and Savikko Park; the Juneau Indian Village; West Douglas, Middle Point, Pt. Hilda, Young’s Bay; Outer Point, North Douglas; Auke Village, Auke Bay, and Auke Lake; Lena Cove and Berner’s Bay.
Taaku Tlingit Canoe