The community of Metlakatla is located in the Inside Passage, about 15 miles south of Ketchikan on Annette Island. Metlakatla is the only settlement of the indigenous Tsimshian people in the United States.
The Metlakatla Tsimshian have been living on Annette Island since 1887, when Anglican missionary William Duncan established the new Metlakatla village there and residents relocated from their original homeland between the Nass and Skeena rivers in nearby British Columbia, Canada. The village later became a federal reserve, giving the Metlakatla community and other Alaska Natives exclusive use of the land on Annette Island.
Things to do
Visitors can reach Metlakatla by ferry or plane from Ketchikan. Educational and hands-on experiences await travelers looking to explore the Tsimshian way of life, including visits to the community art center, local totem poles and a traditional longhouse. Visitors can take in song and dance performances by local Tsimshian dancers in full regalia at the longhouse, which faces Metlakatla’s boat harbor. Inside, guests can peruse old Tsimshian artifacts on display and experience the nearly extinct Sm’algyax language through tribal performances.