I was lucky enough that my arrival into Yakutat coincided with the small, annual Language Conference at the American Native Brotherhood/Sisterhood hall. Like many instances in history around the world, the native language of the Tligits was banned, and the people themselves soon found that the language was (and is) on the brink of extinction. A very complex language with amazing guttural sounds and clicks, apparently so complex that children couldn't actually speak it fluently until around the age of 10.
These days less than 300 people in the world still speak Tlingit fluently, about 10% of that managed to make it to the 5 day conference. The Haida language only has a few dozen fluent speakers left - nearly all of them over the age of 70.
It was impressive and inspirational to see the younger generations learning and priding themselves on their heritage.
Afterwards, I shot a couple of photos for Starr Jensen and her family. Starr is of Tlingit descent, and is married to Jim, an eskimo fisherman, her kids obviously a mixture of both - great family.