By Sarah DeCapua

The 1st americans books depict the main tribes from their early historical past to their carrying on with fight for survival and dignity.

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They followed the present-day Nass, Stikine, and Taku rivers. Their journey ended when Raven told them they had arrived at the place where he wanted them to live. 33 4 • A Changing World T he Tlingit in Alaska do not live on a reservation. They live in small communities along Alaska’s coast. Tlingit in Canada live on reserves in British Columbia and Yukon Territory. Today’s Tlingit have a modern lifestyle. But they maintain their language, beliefs, and unique identity as Native Americans. Children in Tlingit communities go to local schools.

Families, clans, and communities sing, dance, and dress in traditional clothing to celebrate their heritage. They practice traditional arts and crafts, as well. It is one of the largest gatherings of southeastern Alaska’s Native people. It is also the second-largest event held by Natives in the state of Alaska. Festivals like this help the Tlingit touch the past as they embrace the future. 41 • Time Line The Tlingit live in what is now the Alaskan Panhandle and western Canada. Before 1600 42 Russians begin trading with the Tlingit.

Ceremonies were an important part of Tlingit culture. Most ceremonies were held in winter, because the Tlingit believed spirits moved closer to people in wintertime. Ceremonies were held to give thanks to spirits for a successful hunting or fishing trip, or for success in battle. Ceremonies were also held because the Tlingit believed honoring the spirits would bring them wealth and good luck. One of the most important ceremonies was the koolex, or potlatch. At the potlatch, the host provided guests with food, singing, and dancing.

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