Cultural Heritage

The Metlakatla Stewardship Society is working, in concert with the Metlakatla Governing Council, on the development of a Culture and Heritage policy. The Stewardship Society’s responsibility will be to administer the regulations within the policy.  The Culture and Heritage Policy will incorporate the exploration, documentation, and repatriation of artifacts, ancestral remains, and any heritage resource belonging to the Metlakatla people.  

Our office documents traditional use and traditional knowledge information from our community members on an ongoing basis. We also continue to investigate, assess and monitor Metlakatla archaeological resources.

Traditional Use (TUS) and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)

Metlakatla’s occupation and use of our territory and resources contribute to all aspects of our modern day sustenance, stewardship activities, land and marine management, and treaty negotiations. The sharing of our traditional use and traditional ecological knowledge facilitates the education of our younger generations and ensures the wisdom of our elders continues to guide our current and future stewardship decisions. Though collecting and transmitting traditional use information is a large and ongoing challenge, gathering and learning from our traditional practices is essential to maintaining our culture.

To date, Metlakatla has compiled traditional use information for our territory through archival research, community interviews, and community mapping exercises. We continue to gather and archive traditional knowledge during planning phases of development projects, and by consulting elders throughout our land and marine use planning processes. Much of our traditional use data is stored in digital form using GIS mapping, making it accessible for Metlakatla administration to utilize while engaged in land and marine decision making.

Archaeology Permits & Reports

Numerous archaeological sites and resources are located throughout the Metlakatla traditional territory, illustrating our rich history and connection to our lands. Examples of archaeological sites and materials include but are not limited to: pictographs and petroglyphs (rock art), village and habitation sites, resource gathering locations, burial sites, Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs), stone features such as canoe runs and fish traps and individual artifacts made from a variety of materials. Several locations within Metlakatla territory are already well known for their archaeological significance, while numerous other heritage and archaeological resources continue to be discovered in Metlakatla territory on a regular basis.

As a part of land use planning processes, development proposal evaluations, internal policy development and treaty negotiations, we continue to work to protect our cultural and archaeological resources. In conjunction with professional archaeologists, Metlakatla also participates in and monitors archaeological assessments of proposed development sites. 

If you are interested in finding out more about Metlakatla archaeology or are interested in engaging in field assessments with Metlakatla, please contact the Metlakatla Stewardship Office.