Friday, August 5, 2016

Metlakatla, B.C. the focus of two part Alaska Public Radio series on the Two Metlakatla's

Metlakatla BC circa 1879
The community is the focus of 
two part KRBD public radio series
(From the Metklatla website, photo
courtesy of BC archives)
A look at how the North Pacific Coast came to have two settlements called Metlakatla is the focus of a two part Public Radio series from Ketchikan's KRBD this week, with British Columbia's side of the A-B line the featured story of Part One.

Metlakatla, Alaska is preparing to celebrate its Founders Day this Sunday, commemorating the 129th year since the community was founded when Tsimshian members from the southern settlement travelled northbound to Alaska.

As part of the backdrop to those celebrations, Alaska Public Radio's Leila Kheiry has been putting together the elements of the series since the fall of 2015.

First with a trip to the British Columbia community, followed up by a shorter, more recent journey from Ketchikan to the Alaska community complete her research of the historical story of the two Metlakatla's.

The opening review puts the spotlight on the original settlement of Metlakatla and features an extensive interview with Clarence Nelson who traces much of the history of the Canadian settlement and the ties that continue to keep the two communities linked along the North Pacific coast.

The second part of the series examines the creation of the Alaska settlement in 1887, when more than 800 members, roughly half of the original community left B. C., after the Anglican church put in motion plans to reign in the community.

The KRBD series offers up an interesting overview of some of the history of the region at the time, focusing on the events that sent many of the Tsimshian north.

The journey and arrival of the Tsimshian on Annette Island brings the radio presentation to an end, with a turn towards the weekend events offering residents of Southeast Alaska a glimpse of a history that many may not be well versed in.

You can review Part One of the story here.

Part Two which focuses on the Northern side of the Metlakatla story can be reviewed here.

For more items related to the modern day events and news out of Metlakatla, BC see our archive page here.

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