Sitka National Historical Park
103 Monastery Street
Sitka, Alaska 99835
WELCOME to Sitka National
Alaska's oldest federally designated park was
established in 1910 to commemorate the 1804 Battle of Sitka. All that
remains of this last major conflict between Europeans and Alaska
Natives is the site of the Tlingit Fort and battlefield, located
within this scenic 113 acre park in a temperate rain forest.
Sitka National Historical Park, Alaska's oldest
federally designated park, was established as a federal park in 1890.
It became a national monument in 1910 to commemorate the 1804 Battle
of Sitka fought between the Tlingits and the Russians. All that
remains of this last major conflict between Europeans and natives of
the Northwest Coast is a clearing at the site of a Kiks.�di Fort.
A classic combination of Northwest Coast totem
poles and temperate rain forest are combined on the scenic coastal
trail within the park. Alaska's District Governor John G. Brady
brought a collection of totem poles to Sitka in 1905. These histories
carved in cedar were donated by Native leaders from villages in
southeast Alaska. Many poles exhibited along the park's two miles of
wooded pathways are replicas of the original totem poles.
The visitor center contains ethnographic
exhibits and houses the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center, where
visitors can watch Native artists at work.
The park's story continues at the Russian
Bishop's House, one of the last surviving examples of Russian colonial
architecture in North America. This original 1843 log structure
conveys the legacy of Russian America through exhibits, refurbished
living quarters and the Chapel of the Annunciation.
Russian Bishop's House
The Russian Bishop's House is one of the few
surviving examples of Russian colonial architecture in North America.
Imperial Russia was the dominant power in the North Pacific for over
125 years. Sitka (known as New Archangel at the time) was the Russian
colonial capital. The Bishop's House was completed in 1842 and was the
center of Russian Orthodox church authority in a diocese that
stretched from California to Siberian Kamchatka.
The Church closed the Bishop's House in 1969.
The spruce walls had rotted, the roof leaked, and the floors and
doorways tilted. It was in danger of collapse. In 1973, the National
Park Service obtained the property and began a 16 year project to
restore the building to its 1853 appearance. The restored Russian
Bishop's House offers visitors a chance to step back into history and
feel and understand what it was like to live in Sitka during the
Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center
The Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (SEAICC)
was established in 1969 to impart the cultural values of Southeast
Alaska Native Culture to students and visitors. The center achieves
this goal by providing a place for local Sitka Tlingits to teach
themselves about their own culture, while also helping Park visitors
understand the Native people whose history is part of the Park story.
Although it is housed in the Park visitor center, SEAICC is an
independent, non-profit Native organization.
SEAICC offers both students and visitors the
opportunity to learn about Northwest Coast native art. Park visitors
can view artists working and can talk to them about their craft and
culture. In addition, SEAICC offers courses in traditional Tlingit art
such as beadwork, weaving, bentwood box making, and box drum making.
SEAICC also sponsors special projects like the
raising of the Haa leelk'u has Kaa sta heeni deiy Pole and the carving
of a traditional Tlingit canoe. In 1996, the Cultural Center sponsored
the carving and raising of a thirty-five foot totem pole in front of
the Park's Visitor Center. The multi-clan pole was carved by local
Sitka carvers to commemorate the Tlingit clans (Kaagwaantaan,
Kiks.�di, and Coho) who lived in the area before the Russians came.
The pole's Tlingit name means "honoring our ancestors who lived
along Indian River."
Please contact the Cultural Center for
106 Metlakatla Street
Sitka, Alaska 99835
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