Ellen Hope Hays

Click on a tape number below to listen to that recording.

H98 - 39 - 01, Part 1

H98 - 39 - 01, Part 2

H98 - 39 - 02 
Karen Brewster, Research Associate with the Oral History Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Kristen Griffin, a temporary employee of the National Park Service, interviewed Ellen Hope Hays on December 7 and 8, 1998 at the Sitka Tribe of Alaska offices in downtown Sitka, Alaska. Robi Craig, Tribal Anthropologist for the Sitka Tribe, was also present during the interview. Ellen was born and raised in Sitka, and worked at the Sitka National Historical Park for many years, but now lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington. This project supported her travel to Sitka for this interview.

Ellen is a vivacious 70 year old. She is petite and has permed, short white hair. She is an energetic and eloquent speaker. She obviously had been in an interview setting before and was comfortable with it. She'd take one question and run with it, thereby discussing topics that future questions had intended to address. Ellen carries herself with strength and pride and does not hesitate to speak her mind. Her responses in this interview indicate these are issues she has thought about before; she knew what she wanted to say. There was so much to discuss with Ellen that this interview carried over into a second day.

In this interview, Ellen discusses her childhood growing up in the Cottages Community that neighbored the park, using the park as her playground, and her role in the Alaska Native Brotherhood. She discusses how she got involved with National Park Service work, her Park Service jobs as Superintendent at Sitka and Native Liaison in Anchorage, her role as a founding member of the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center at the Park, and the relationship between the Park and the community of Sitka. She also looks at some historic photographs during the interview and talks about them.

Ellen Hope Hays passed away on October 8, 2013 in Sitka, Alaska. For more about Ellen, see her obituary in the Daily Sitka Sentinel newspaper.

  

 


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