Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Project Jukebox Survey

Help us redesign the Project Jukebox website by taking a very short survey!

Ellen Hope Hays, Interview 1, Part 2
Ellen Hope Hays

This is a continuation of the interview with Ellen Hope Hays on December 7, 1998 by Karen Brewster and Kristen Griffin at the Sitka Tribe of Alaska office in Sitka, Alaska. Robi Craig, Tribal Anthropologist for the Sitka Tribe, was also present during the interview. 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 (Interview 2). In this second part of a three part interview, Ellen talks about installation of the Bicentennial Pole, the value and success of the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center and how important it has been to Alaska Native artists, the relationship between the Cultural Center and the community, and a 1990s oral history project. She also talks about photographs of Cultural Center artists and their work.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Bicentennial Pole and the story behind it

2) Continues to describe the story the Bicentennial Pole tells

3) The success of the Cultural Center and its project committees

4) Discussing a photograph of a Cultural Center event and the people and clothing in the picture

5) Discussing a photograph of Louis Minard carving silver

6) The Oral History Recording Project done in the early 1990s

7) The Oral History Recording Project continued

8) The formation of the Cultural Center and why it was important to people

9) The value of the Cultural Center continued

10) The uniqueness of the Cultural Center

11) The Cultural Center gaining independence from the Alaska Native Brotherhood and contracting with the National Park Service

12) Projects, goals, and accomplishments of the Cultural Center

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: Pasco, Duane/ totem pole -- carving of/ totem pole -- design/ totem pole -- story/ story -- Pacific Northwest Tribal people/ Ice Age -- arrival/ Ice Age -- receding/ society -- establishment of/ songs/ Creator -- appreciation for survival/ respect/ Nature -- relationship with| Click here for image.

Section 2: change/ trade/ explorers/ writing -- introduction of/ power/ war/ Christianity -- learning/ cross/ Native -- new/ future/ panel -- not carved/ pole -- philosophy/ pole -- value of|

Section 3: Cultural Center -- purpose of/ committee -- enthusiastic/ committee -- democratic/ people -- participation/ committee -- chair/ committee -- success of|

Section 4: Sitka Indian Dancers/ Cultural Center/ history -- contemporary/ history -- importance of recording/ copper shield -- donation/ National Park/ shield -- Teé Nah'/ shield -- value/ shield -- dedication/ Joseph, Charley/ program -- creation of/ outfits/ regalia -- old| Click here for image.

Section 5: Minard, Louis/ artist -- silver/ Park -- visitors/ employment -- Civilian Conservation Corps/ gravel/ wages| Click here for image.

Section 6: oral history/ Cultural Center -- projects/ culture -- preservation/ Pasco, Duane/ Cultural Center -- growth/ National Park/ art -- contemporary/ art -- money making/ project -- document major events/ Truitt, Gil/ change/ Cottages/ boarding school/ oral history -- contemporary/ participants -- recruitment|

Section 7: oral history/ events -- important/ society -- roots of/ questions/ history -- contemporary/ oral history -- value of/ storytelling|

Section 8: Alaska Native Brotherhood -- Arts and Crafts Committee/ Arts and Crafts Wing/ art -- traditional/ art -- learning/ Littlefield, Esther/ art forms -- meaning/ Tlingit -- identity/ respect -- Nature/ art -- creature/ artist -- style/ art -- emblem/ art -- teaching/ Cultural Center -- purpose/ culture -- learning/ skills -- learning/ Cultural Center -- Board/ visitors/ Didrickson, Herb|

Section 9: Cultural Center -- importance/ Alaska Native Brotherhood -- Annual Convention/ Alaska Native Brotherhood -- support/ Indian -- identity/ Park -- Native cooperation/ Park -- visitor/ Park -- historical/ Russian/ Park --"big picture"|

Section 10: Cultural Center/ Steinbright Jackson, Jan/ Jimmy, Irene/ Cultural Center -- unique/ culture -- preservation/ Institute of Alaska Native Art (IANA)/ Park -- unique relationship/ Cultural Center -- timing/ Geerdes, Ray/ Olson, Charlie/ Alaska Native Brotherhood/ Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act/ land -- reclaiming/ Cultural Center -- independent|

Section 11: Cultural Center/ alumni/ students/ Cultural Center -- non-profit (501-C3)/ Alaska Native Brotherhood/ Cultural Center -- independent/ board members -- contributions/ artist -- responsibilities/ Park -- contract|

Section 12: Cultural Center -- projects/ projects -- canoe carving/ funding/ Cultural Center -- Executive Director/ Indigenous Weavers Conference/ weaving -- learning/ money -- lack of/ teachers/ Joseph, Tommy/ teachers -- oldtimers/ graduates -- becoming teachers/ traditional form -- learning/ art -- creativity/ Cultural Center -- opportunities|