Noogaayík

-- Haat iyagu´t

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"Several of today's First Nations families in the southwest Yukon trace their roots back to Noogaayík, and to a period when there was regular commerce along the Tatshenshini river. Through time, the traditional trade and family connections between the Tatshenshini area and the coast became fewer. People abandoned the settlements along the Tatshenshini; some moved back to the coast, to Klukwan, home of the Chilkat Tlingit people who are said to have established Noogaayík. Others moved upstream, to Neskatahéen." "Before the middle of the nineteenth century, Native settlements flourished along this river, but then disease, the harbinger of the European arrival on the Alaskan coast, devastated the people along the river. Around 1850, another disaster struck the inhabitants. The large glacier that spans the Alsek valley upstream released a mighty wave of water that swept away everything in its path. Many people dwelling along the Tatshenshini below its junction with the Alsek died when their homes were obliterated." [7][9] The final abandonment of Noogaayík appears to have been caused by the mid-nineteenth century smallpox epidemic. [10] Athapascan oral history recounts that the first meeting between interior peoples and coastal Tlingit people occurred at Noogaayík. [7] "There is also a tradition from the Tatshenshini River drainage of a giant copper-clawed owl that terrorized and consumed people until a resourceful old woman managed to destroy it at Noogaayík." The owl was said to have lived in the ice caverns of a glacier nearby. Related tradition holds that a glacier will begin to melt or retreat once the animal living inside it dies. [9]

Location

United States
59° 54' 6.5124" N, 137° 17' 49.8084" W
Video: 

Ikaduwakaa and the Storyboard are part of the Doorways to the Past; Gateway to the Future project, cooperatively supported by the Chilkoot Indian Association, Haines Borough Public Library, and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership, and lifelong learning.