Voices Project Banner Image - repeating pattern of Tlingit salmon design with the words "Haa Aani - Our Home Land"

1. Welcome to Juneau Voices

Instruction below audio player, the graphic says "Play" (there is another above the player that says "Press" so the user sees "Press Play" sandwiching the audio player.

Come, take a walk with us. Frances Houston, Marie Olson, Benjamin Coronell, and Benjamin Schleifman welcome you, on behalf of this area’s original Tlingit clans. 

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Next Button - Click to access next file in the sequence.

More about this story

  • Juneau Voices #1 is located at several welcoming signs along the seawalk in downtown Juneau.

  • The four introductions you hear in this audio story follow traditional Tlingit protocols: identifying one’s name, moiety, kwáan, clan, clan house, and the names of one’s mother and maternal grandmother; and, honoring one’s father by sharing his name and clan. Each clan speaker also shares a glimpse of their personal sacred tie to the land.

  • There are 21 recorded ancestral territories in Lingít Aaní (Our Land). Each is called kwáan. These are core to the way Tlingits associate their relationships between peoples, clans and lands. The name for each kwáan refers to a place on the land. The City and Borough of Juneau includes Áak’w Kwáan, named for the lake near the Áak’w winter village, which no longer exists (north of downtown Juneau); and T’aaḵú Kwáan, named for the Taku River (south of downtown Juneau). 

  • Each kwáan includes several clans. A Tlingit’s clan membership is determined through their mother. Each clan has at least one crest. Local clan crests include the dog salmon, shark, wolf, and frog.  

  • The broadest groupings in Tlingit society are the Ravens/Crows (Yéil/Ts’axweil)  and the Eagles/Wolves (Ch’áak’/Gooch). Coastal Tlingits identify with “Raven” and inland Tlingits with “Crow.” Their opposites on the coast are “Eagles,” and “Wolves” for the inland Tlingit. A few coastal clans refer to themselves as Wolves.

  • In this audio story, you hear voices from the Áak’w Kwáan and the T’aaḵú Kwáan. From each  kwáan, you’re greeted by a Raven and an Eagle/Wolf. In this way, this audio story observes the Tlingit cultural value of balance. Fran Houston is Raven and Marie Olson is Eagle from the Aak’w Kwáan. Benjamin Coronell is Eagle/Wolf and Benjamin Schleifman is Raven from the T’aaḵú Kwáan.

  • To spend more time with some of these clan spokespeople, please visit: https://www.aanyatxu.org/juneau-voices-home 

  • The narrators for Juneau Voices are David Katzeek, Kingeisti, an Eagle, and Erin Tripp, Xáalnook, a Raven.

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Gunalchéesh, Aan Yátx’u Sáani. Yá Dzantik’ihéeni haat ḵeeyateení. Ho-ho Juneau. Welcome to Juneau Voices.


Gunalchéesh á, Aan Yátx’u Sáani.

Noble Children of the Earth, thank you for coming to Dzantik’ihéeni, Juneau.


We invite you to take a walk with us.


A traditional name for Juneau is Ldakát át a káa yéi wooteeyi yá tlʼátgi at x̱á át


The Place That Has Everything.


…A place of abundance: fish, deer, dall sheep, forests, gold… and stories.


Look up with me to the mountain, Yaada.at Kalé


That means Beautifully Adorned Face.


Yaada.at Kalé. Right above town, with the cliff face.


Often, the mountain is shrouded in clouds. In winter, the specks of snow are like powdered sugar sprinkled all over the trees. Maybe one of those specks turns out to be a bald eagle. Chʼáakʼ.


Chʼáakʼ is flying out over the city. Chʼáakʼ is met by Raven. Yéil.


Raven and Eagle will guide us on our walk today. Yéil ḵa Chʼáakʼ

SOUND:  The call of a Raven. The call of an Eagle.


We are your guides on this walk. My name is Erin Tripp. My Tlingit name is Xáalnook.


Kingeistí áyá x̱át. I am Kingeistí.


There are 10 spots on this walk. In each location, we’ll meet someone from Juneau who will share a story about this place.  All together, these 10 stories will give you a sense of life, in this beautiful place we call home.


Shóogunáx̱ áwé. First: the spokespersons of the clans who own this land since time immemorial, will greet us. The Lʼeeneidí and the Wooshkeetaan of the Áakʼw Ḵwáan, and the Yanyeidí and the Ishkeetaan of the Tʼaaḵú Ḵwáan.

Narrator 2:

Each speaker will introduce themselves following traditional Tlingit protocols.  After the four speakers greet us, we’ll head to Sign #2.  That’s where the storytelling begins. 


Welcome to Juneau Voices!

My name is Fran Houston. My Tlingit name is Seikóoni. I am Raven of the Dog Salmon Clan, from the Yax̱té Hít, which means Dipper House. My mother’s name is Rosa Miller 

and I am the granddaughter of Bessie Visiya, Kachkoon. I am a child of the Chookaneidí Eagle tribe. Leo Houston, from Hoonah Alaska.  The Áakʼw Yax̱tetaan welcomes you to our ancestral lands, which we never relinquished.

Haa aayí áyá. This is ours.


My name is Marie Olson. I am Eagle of the Wooshkeetaan clan, Aanchg̱altsóowdáx̱, ḵa Xóots Hít, Brown Bear House. My mother was named Lix̱’t and my grandmother was Ḵaayistaan; I have her name. Ax̱ éesh ḵu.aa, Ḵaajeex̱án yóo dusáagun. Sheetkʼaadáx̱

My father is from Sitka, and his name was Ḵaajeex̱án. Kiks.ádi yádi áyá x̱át. My grandfather was Yáakushee. He is Deisheetaan. Áa Tleindáx̱. I was born in Juneau. Near Gold Creek, Dzantik’ihéeni.


My name is Benjamin Danny Coronell. My Tlingit name is Ooshka.aan. I am Eagle/Wolf of the Yanyeidí clan. We are from the Tʼaaḵú. My mother’s name was Kaachgei, Dorothy Coronell, and my grandmother Yankoogei, Gertrude Peters. I am the son of Samuel B. Coronell, a Filipino immigrant. I am a grandchild of Deiteen, Willie Peters, of the Dog Salmon Clan, Lʼeeneidí, Trap House, G̱aatáa Hít. My Canadian Tʼaaḵú relatives invited me to travel in a canoe down the Taku River to Douglas Island. We drew our strength from our ancestors who journeyed this way before there was an international border.


My name is Benjamin Schleifman, my Tlingit name is Ḵaax̱ánla.átch. I am Ishkeetaan, Raven/Frog from the Taku River. I come from the Ishká Hít, the Salmon Hole House.

My mother is Jackie Schoppert from Douglas. Her Tlingit name is Yakwtus.aan. My grandmother was Mary Morris from Teslin Yukon Territory. Her Tlingit name was Yakwtus.aan Tlaa. My father’s name is Robert Schleifman. He is Ashkenazi Jewish. He moved to Alaska at the age of 17. The people of the Taku River were relatively small in numbers, but our world was large. We honor those that walked before us, and cherish the familial ties that continue to bind us.


We’re going to start walking. Come with us. 

SOUND: Eagle call.


There’s Eagle flying down to Juneau Voices #2, at the corner of Marine Way and South Franklin Street. We’ll meet you there.

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