Kayaaní Commission

The mission of the Kayaaní Commission is to preserve our spiritual way of life. The religion of the Tlingit was the Earth. The Tlingit are one with the Earth. The Kayaaní Commission is here to preserve and protect traditional ways of our ancestral knowledge.

The commission began meeting in 1997 in direct response to the USDA Forest Service’s plans to create “Special Forest Products” monitoring guidelines for the Alaska Region. The USFS considers all manners of non-timber forest resources such as plants, bark, roots, moss, mushrooms, etc. to be “special forest products.” These efforts were supported by the Forest Service, Sitka Native Education Program (SNEP), Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood (ANB/ANS), National Park Service, (NPS), Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (SEAICC) and many other interested parties and individuals along the way.

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska finds that tribal peoples have forever relied upon plants and their traditional knowledge of the plants for food, medicine and the creation of artistic and utilitarian works and continue to rely upon plants for the very same needs today, as they will for generations to come. Traditional Knowledge refers to the traditional spiritual methods, means and ways of gathering, processing, utilizing, and protecting traditional plants. Traditional knowledge should be understood as intellectual property and as such, property cannot be used to create commercial items intended for resale by people who do not possess the cultural birthright to such property.

 

Contact Staff:

Kitty Sopow

429 Katlian Street

Sitka, AK 99835

Kitty.sopow@sitkatribe-nsn.gov

907-747-7167