Story last updated at 4/11/2012 - 11:36 am
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has published a landmark book documenting more than 3,000 Native place names and their locations in Southeast Alaska.
Nearly 20 years in the making, "Haa Léelk'w Hás Aaní Saax'ú: Our Grandparents' Names on the Land," is the most comprehensive study of its kind.
The vast majority of place names in the book are of Tlingit origin. There are also Haida place names, and some Tsimshian Eyak, Chugach and Athabaskan names. The chapters are organized by kwáan, traditional community territories which roughly correspond to modern community areas. Each chapter includes a narrative and concludes with a map showing place name locations along with a table listing the Native names, translations and locations.
Native place names differ from English place names, which often are biographical and commemorate people.