Your journey through the rich history and culture of the original inhabitants of Glacier Bay begins with a pleasant bus ride through the largest Tlingit settlement in Alaska.
Your guide will describe how the village came to be after the Hoonah Tlingit were forced from their ancestral lands in Glacier Bay by advancing glaciers. Hear colourful stories, such as how the epic fire of 1944 burned the entire village to the ground, how locals ‘drive’ the Alaska Marine Highway, and many other aspects of life in this small heritage-rich community.
There will be plenty of photo-stop opportunities throughout the tour. This is truly a wonderful glimpse into the past - notice, for instance, how few roads are paved and the lack of stoplights in town. You will also learn about how the town sustains itself through the fishing, timber and tourism industries. The natural environment is important here. The Tlingits revere the land and you will learn about the importance of the rainforest , which envelops the island and is a great source of plants and protection for the animals and local inhabitants.
After this short bus tour, there's a change of pace when you head to the Native Heritage Centre Theatre for a lively performance by the Hoonah Tlingit, who proudly share their history with you through interpretive song, dance and storytelling. Dressed in colourful regalia, their performance illustrates the ancient significance of many clans, the story of how a mighty glacier forced the Tlingit from their traditional homeland, and how ‘Raven’ created the world. Unforgettable.