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X'aaká Hít
Point House

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Land Back

Photo: Alaska State Library

The Lingit people have been the stewards of much of the lands now called Southeast Alaska and the western coast of Canada since time immemorial but with European colonization came theft of land and a new concept of ownership. With the repatriation of the land upon which the Point House once stood, the land returns to Indigenous stewardship, a tangible example of what the increasingly popular Land Back movement looks like in practice. 


Photo: Sitka Historical Society


Photo: James Poulson

X'aaká Hít Point House

The Point House is a clan house of the Kiks.ádi clan. Once a physical structure on the now repatriated land on Katlian Street in Sheet’ka Kwaan (Sitka), it is presently a dream and a promise of returning the land to its purpose as a place for gathering, for ceremony and celebration. The land was transferred in non-Indigenous tradition via will and the physical structure was torn down, but the land has been returned to the Kiks.ádi clan, with one clan member currently holding the deed and serving as Hít daax̱ yasataag̱í — the person who takes care of the house.

"The clan house is at the center of Lingit identity. A Lingit is born into a clan house and our body goes to the clan house for the final time-when we leave this world. A clan house is the place for ceremony, it is where authority for decision-making derives, it is at the foundation of Lingit government. The clan house is utilized in child rearing and the teaching of clan history and tradition. It holds the songs and the crests of the clans, it is a house of respect for the opposite moiety. The clan house is a community gathering place and a shelter to those who are traveling or in need. In the words of a Point House clan member “it is integral to every part of traditional Lingit life”."

Dr. Rosita Worl
Principles of Tlingit Property Law and case studies of cultural objects National Park Service, 1994

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^ Click above to view full plan renderings ^

Re-envisioning & Rebuilding

With no physical structure standing, the Kiks.ádi clan has the opportunity to re-envision and rebuild a clan house for the 21st Century, suitable for the living and evolving people who will use it. It will serve as a gathering place for ceremony and celebration, a place for potlatches and funerary processions. It may offer short-term housing for visiting culture bearers and artists. It will stand as a non-colonial landmark for tourists and visitors. 


David Howard Sr.  last Hít Saatí (House Leader) for the X'aaká Hít Point House.

Multiple Point House members — Bottom row: Dorothy James Truitt, Jennie Simpson Sing, Ray James, Jr.
Middle row: Tillie Howard Hope (the mother of Ellen Hope Hays), Mr. and Mrs. Sloan, Carol Feller Brady’s mother Elizabeth Kadashaan James, Carol’s father Ray James with Carol’s sister Flora, and David Howard (Tillie’s brother).
Back row: Ray James’s sister Olinda Bailey, Peter Simpson, Jr., Mary Simpson, Peter Simpson with Baby, Jennie Willard, John Willard, and Ray James’s brother, Albert James.


Photo: James Poulson


Jerrick Hope-Lang has taken on a stewardship role after the matrilineal passage of property was interrupted. Hope-Lang now holds the deed, granting ownership under US property law, but in honoring Lingit tradition, he considers himself a steward of the land on behalf of his clan, the Kiks.ádi. 

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Photo: Lee House

More Than A Land Acknowledgement

With the repatriation of the Point House land, there exist opportunities to support the return of land to Indigenous stewardship and the rebuilding of the physical structure of the Point House through financial and in-kind donations, including goods and services. We are fiscally sponsored by Native Movement, a native-led 501c3.

"While some may only see an empty lot, the Point House site in Sitka, Alaska, is culturally significant to the Kiks.ádi clan and contributes to our collective understanding of Alaska's history and beyond. It is a place that holds deep cultural knowledge, practice, and tradition, as well as profound cultural destruction and loss. And, thanks to the remarkable vision of Jerrick Hope-Lang's X'aaká Hít Revitalization project, the Point House site will soon be a place of cultural resilience, celebration, and stewardship, underpinning the value of spotlighting history—even difficult history—to ensure a strengthened and brighter future."

Katherine J Ringsmuth

Alaska State Historian


Sitka Indian Village, Source Unknown

In the Media

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Hít daat yawustaag̱í
(The person who takes care of the house)

Ldutéen ax̱ saayí
Kiks.adíx̱ x̱át site
X̱'aaka hítyeedáx̱
Ax̱ léelk'w kaakaltín yóo dusaagún
Dléit ḵaa x̱'eináx̱ kwás Ellen Hope Hays
Ax̱ léelk'u hás ḵu.aa awés Ts'oots'x̱án Roger Lang yóo
dusaagún, ḵá Kaagwaantaan. Ch'ák' Ḵudihit dáx̱
Ḵaa.ooshtí yei dusaagun
Andrew hope dleit ḵaa x̱'eináx̱

Jerrick Hope-Lang-Lduteen (it cannot be seen)
Kiks.ádi X’aaká Hít (Point House) Raven/Frog
My grandmother is Ellen Hope Hays Kaakaltín~Raven Looking forward-Kiks.ádi and my grandfather is Roger Lang, Tsimshian of the Eagle moiety. My great grandfather is Andrew Hope Kaa.oostí Kaagwaantaan Eagles Nest House.


• Preservation Alaska: 2024 Most Endangered Properties

• Vision Maker Media's Creative Shorts Fellowship 2024



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