Sealaska Heritage Institute posts Cape Fox stories told by Bessie Denny, peace ceremony led by Austin Hammond

Earlier this month, Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Special Collections Research Center posted a recording of Tlingit elder Bessie Denny telling stories in Tlingit, with her son Henry Denny Jr. translating into English. In the recording, Bessie Denny tells about the history of the Saanyá Kwáan, the people of Cape Fox, and the Neix.ádi, Kiks.ádi and the Teikweidí clans, describing their migration routes, place names and acquisition of crests.


The stories were originally recorded in Saxman at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand Camp Convention in February 1966. The recording was donated to SHI by Bessie Denny’s great grandson, Bruce Kelley, and made available online from a grant project supported by the Institute of Museum & Library Services.

To listen to the recording, visit For more information, visit

SHI also recently posted an archival recording of an excerpt of a peace ceremony led by Austin Hammond recorded in August of 1980 in Haines. At the ceremony, Hammond gathered members of the Tlingit and non-Native community to protest the mistreatment of his ancestral homeland. He is joined by George Davis, and Walter Soboleff with Soboleff providing an English translation of Hammond and Davis’ Tlingit remarks.

The recording was donated to SHI by Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer, and is from the Dauenhauer Tlingit Oral Literature Collection at the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s archives. It was placed online as part of an Institute of Museum & Library Services grant program.

To listen to the recording, visit For more information, visit

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.


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