Haa Léelk'w Has Aaní Saax'u / Our Grandparents' Names on the Land presents the results of a collaborative project with Native communities of Southeast Alaska to record indigenous geographic names. Documenting and analyzing more than 3,000 Tlingit, Haida, and other Native names on the land, it highlights their descriptive force and cultural significance. With community maps, tables, and photographs, this book will be invaluable for those seeking to understand Alaska Native geographic perspectives.
As Tlingits from the Hoonah Indian Association explain in the book: “Long before Russian, French, Spanish, and British explorers mapped and named the mountains and bays of the Huna Tlingit homeland, we identified special places in our own vibrant, descriptive ways. Tlingit place names reflect important natural resources, ancestral stories, sacred places, and major geological and historic events. Our place names describe more than just inanimate locations for we perceive the mountains, glaciers, and streams to be as alive and aware as ourselves. Rather, they capture the history, emotions, and stories of our enduring relationship with a living, evolving landscape.”