The Huna Totem Corporation’s Alaska Native Voices program offers a unique opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the Huna Tlingit people. At the heart of this program are the Cultural Heritage Guides, descendants of the Huna Tlingit, who serve as living links to an ancient culture that continues to thrive in the modern world.
Cultural Heritage Guides
The Cultural Heritage Guides are more than just tour guides; they are storytellers, historians, and custodians of a rich cultural legacy. As descendants of the Huna Tlingit people, they carry with them a profound personal connection to the land and its history. These guides share not only their personal experiences, clan traditions, and historical anecdotes but also impart a sense of the spiritual and enduring respect for the environment that characterizes the Huna Tlingit way of life.
A cornerstone of the Alaska Native Voices program, the interpretive programs offered by the Cultural Heritage Guides, are comprehensive and engaging. These programs encompass lectures, storytelling sessions, singing performances, and displays of traditional art, tools, and craftsmanship. Each program is meticulously designed to engage visitors in a meaningful and interactive learning experience, celebrating and honoring the rich cultural heritage of the Huna Tlingit people.
The Role of Storytelling
Storytelling is intrinsic to Huna Tlingit culture and plays a central role in the interpretive programs. Through stories, the fabric of Huna Tlingit history, values, beliefs, and customs is passed down, offering visitors a narrative tapestry rich in cultural heritage. The guides’ tales provide insight into the spiritual and cultural significance of the Tlingit traditional homeland, capturing the symbiotic relationship between the people and the land they have inhabited for generations.
Expanding Traditions: Alaska Native Voices
As the traditional homeland of the Huna Tlingit, Glacier Bay’s story is deeply human, rich with history, tradition, and narratives passed from one generation to the next. Huna Totem Corporation’s Alaska Native Voices program expands this tradition, sharing the Tlingit connection to Glacier Bay through insightful interpretation.
Native Cultural Heritage Guides bring this history to life aboard cruise vessels visiting Glacier Bay, providing interpretive and educational programs. These programs bridge the past with the present, illustrating the evolution of traditional practices in contemporary contexts. They emphasize the continuity of the Huna Tlingit culture, reflecting lessons of sustainability and respectful land use that remain relevant today.
Through partnerships with cruise lines like Holland America, American Cruise Lines, Lindblad Expeditions, and Alaskan Dream Cruises, Huna Totem Corporation extends its reach, bringing the depth of Tlingit culture to a broader audience. These enriching experiences have garnered positive acclaim, enhancing visitors’ understanding of the profound spiritual and cultural connection the Huna Tlingit maintain with their environment.
Guiding Principles Rooted in Tradition
The principles that guide the Alaska Native Voices are as timeless as they are insightful. They are not merely rules to follow but a way of life, embodied in traditional tribal values of Southeast Alaska. These values were born from respect for nature and the wisdom of our ancestors, fostering qualities like patience, humor, respect for self and others, and a strong sense of stewardship for the air, land, and sea.
These principles extend beyond mere words; they are the foundation upon which the Huna Tlingit build their lives. They hold each other up, listen with respect, speak with care, and live in harmony with the world around them. In a modern age where these values can often be overlooked, Alaska Native Voices stands as a beacon, ensuring these traditions continue to enlighten future generations.
Perpetuating a Proud Heritage
The guiding principles of Alaska Native Voices resonate with a reverence for the land, pride in their past, and a commitment to the future. They are caretakers of their culture, upholding the wisdom of their elders while fostering unity and diversity of thought. This stewardship means growing a diversified, transparent, and innovative business—always with an eye towards the future generations.
The Cultural Heritage Guides of Huna Totem, supported by the foundational philosophies of the Alaska Native Voices are not just preserving a way of life; they are weaving it into every interaction, every story, and every shared experience they offer. Visitors who come to this sacred land leave with more than just photographs; they carry with them a piece of living history, a string tied to the rich tapestry of a vibrant, enduring culture.