Preparation work for a Huna Tlingit tribal house at Glacier Bay National Park will begin in August, according to the National Park Service. Named Xúna Shuká Hit by Tlingit elders, the structure will be built under a $2.9 million contract granted to P.K. Builders of Ketchikan.
On the shoreline of Bartlett Cove, the tribal house will rest on traditional homeland of the Huna Tlingit, land that once supported the villages of L'eiwshaa Shakee Aan and Ghaatheeni. The goal is to commemorate ancestral clan houses and to connect locals so the southeastern region's rich Alaska Native heritage. It is also a hoped that tribal members can reconnect with their ancestors, traditions and skills, the Park Service said.
The Park Service is also working closely with clan leaders. A small group of tribe members is currently hand-adzing cedar planks, which will cover the interior and exterior of the tribal house.
Expected to be completed by the summer of 2016, the Xúna Shuká Hit tribal house will be a 2,500-square-foot structure with a traditional gathering area.