Your cultural experience begins as you board our deluxe motor-coach for a scenic, 22-mile tour up the national scenic byway, Haines Highway, via Fort William H. Seward, the first U.S. Army outpost in Alaska and a National Historic Site.
You'll hear about hooligan history, a small silvery fish that's very much a part of the region's Native legend and lore, and continue through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve to the village of Klukwan. Wildlife spotting is always a possibility and the majestic mountains along the Chilkat River and in the distance towards Canada are a sight to behold.
Upon arriving at the Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Heritage Center site, you'll visit the recently built replica of a Long House, traditionally used for special gatherings, winter housing and a place for villagers to create art in the ancient style. You'll enjoy cultural dances and songs and learn about the Chilkat blanket, a signature creation by the people of this area. At the Adzing Shed, you'll hear of the significance and history of the designs, colors and tools used to pass down legends from generation to generation. A demonstration at the smokehouse reveals how fish strips are cut and prepared for brining and storage.
Your next stop is the Hospitality House, where you'll enjoy a salmon or chicken meal as an elder provides insight into the Tlingit Culture. Here, you'll learn about the clan system and hear antidotes of humorous events, as well as tragedies that have occurred over the thousands of years the tribe has existed on this land.
Before your return trip to the pier, you'll have the opportunity to bring a little bit of the Tlingit culture back home with you, as you browse through The Bentwood Box, a small gift shop in the Hospitality House.
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For more information about Klukwan, please visit the Chilkat Indian Village website at http://chilkat-nsn.gov