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Ellen Hope Hays
Ellen Hope Hays (Yaa Yeil Tin/Kaa Katlin - "Raven Looking Forward") was a Tlingit elder of the Raven moiety, Kik’sadi Clan and Point House born in 1927 to Tillie and Andrew Hope in Sitka, Alaska. Ellen was a graduate of Sheldon Jackson School, and was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from the University of Alaska in 1996. She spent her professional career with the National Park Service and in 1974 became the first woman and the first Alaska Native superintendent of a national park in the Pacific Northwest. She also was the first woman to apply and be accepted as a member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood. She was instrumental in the Brotherhood’s successful effort to operate the Visitor Center craft shop wing of Sitka National Historical Park, which eventually became known as the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center. Throughout her life, Ellen promoted the values of art and the humanities and respect for her Tlingit cultural traditions, and received many awards recognizing her efforts and committment. She passed away in 2013. For more about Ellen Hope Hays, see her obituary in the Daily Sitka Sentinel newspaper.