Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
(Central Council) is a tribal government representing more than 29,000 Tlingit and Haida Indians worldwide.
US Culture Region: Northwest Coast
Alaskan Ethnic Group:
||320 W. Willoughby Ave., Suite 300, Juneau AK 99801
||southeastern Alaska, including Metlakatla
Alaskan Native Culture:
Alaska Geographical Region:
Alaska Borough / Census Area:
Tlingit Haida Central Council is one of only two federally recognized regional tribes in Alaska. The Central Council is headquartered in Juneau, Alakska. The Central Council represents the Tlingit and Haida people and provides social services, such as employment and training, education and family services, elder care, health care, housing, and other community services.
The enrollment committee meets twice a year to consider eligibility for enrollment and officially registers eligible persons as citizens of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.
Tribal citizens are issued a photo identification card which identifies their enrollment with a federally recognized tribe, and provides proof of eligibility to apply for tribal services and benefits.
Persons eligible for enrollment must be of Tlingit and/or Haida descent, or be able to identify that they are a direct descendant from a tribally enrolled citizen of the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.
The Central Council possess sovereign and plenary power to legislate for and to govern, conduct and manage the affairs and property of the Tribe.
The Haida Nation and the Tlingit Nation have existed as two separate and distinct people since time immemorial. This great land (Aani) known as Southeast Alaska is the ancestral home of the Tlingit and Haida people.
Legend has it that in ancient times a portion of the Haida Nation came to this land from Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia), the true ancestral home of the Haida people.
The Haida legend of “The Raven and the First People” expresses how Raven discovered mankind and is responsible for the present order of our universe. Likewise, the Tlingit legend of “Raven and the Creation Story” tells us how the Raven created the world.
Tlingit people and Haida people are born into their identity through a matrilineal clan system: One’s identity is established through the mother’s clan.
All Haida and Tlingit clans are organized into two major moieties: Eagle and Raven. In Tlingit, Yeil is Raven and Ch’aak is Eagle (Wolf is sometimes used interchangeably with Eagle). Each clan is made up of clan houses.
The Haida people and Tlingit people have always lived on these sacred and wondrous lands and waters of Southeast Alaska as the original occupants and guardians.
In 1929, at a convention in Haines the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) passed a resolution to sue the United States government for the creation of the Tongass Nation Forest and the Glacier Bay National Park without the permission of the indigenous people of Southeast Alaska. The suit was filed in the Federal Court of Claims and the ANB was later advised that only federally recognized tribes can sue the United States over aboriginal land claims.
The ANB then petitioned the United States Congress to recognize the aboriginal people of Southeast Alaska as a tribe and on June 19, 1935, an act of Congress was passed to recognize the Tlingit and Haida people as a single tribe.
Note: In 1934, the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) was passed to set a standard for the federal government to recognize tribes in the Lower 48. The Alaska Native Brotherhood petitioned Congress to amend the IRA to apply to Alaska, and in 1936 the revision was made.
In 1975, the Indian Self-determination Act (PL 93-638) was passed requiring federal agencies, primarily the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), to contract with federally recognized tribes to manage programs that are intended to benefit Native Americans. In Alaska, the BIA adopted an “Order of Precedence” for recognizing tribes for the purpose of contracting:
- Indian Reorganization Act tribes;
- Traditional tribes;
- Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act village corporations; and
- Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act regional corporations.
In 1993, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior amended the list of federally recognized tribes that are posted in the Federal Register to include all tribes in Alaska.
The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska was left off of the list and petitioned Congress to restore the tribe to the list. In 1994, the President of the United States signed into law an Act that not only restored Tlingit and Haida to the list but also required that the Department of the Interior must consult with Congress before removing any recognized tribe from the list published in the Federal Register.