Update Regarding HTC and HHF

Dear Shareholders,

I wanted to update you on some recent activity and some exciting new initiatives at Huna Totem Corporation (HTC) and our non-profit affiliate, Huna Heritage Foundation (HHF).

Acknowledging that much of the wisdom and cultural knowledge of the Huna Tlingit elders is irreplaceable and not readily available elsewhere, the HTC Board passed Resolution 2014-10, Creation of Huna Traditional Scholars Council, on June 21st. The Board action was recognition that HTC’s Mission includes advancing the culture of the Xúna Kaawu through education as well as our second Guiding Principal: Take pride in our past and value the wisdom of our elders.

The Board believes HTC’s Mission, as well as the mission of HHF; Working to perpetuate the Huna Tlingit culture and promoting education for future generations, will be greatly enhanced by the establishment of this group; providing a forum for discussion, the holding and passing of cultural knowledge, and advising both HTC and HHF.

HTC established HHF in 1990 to establish, administer, and promote educational and cultural programs. HHF Bylaws require five Trustees, at least three of whom must be HTC shareholders. Trustees are appointed by the HTC Board and serve 3-year terms.

Ozzie Sheakley and Marlene Johnson’s terms as HHF Trustees were up this June. On June 21st, HTC appointed Ozzie Sheakley and Anthony Lindoff to the HHF Board of Trustees with terms ending June 2017. The HHF Board of Trustees met Friday, July 18th, and elected Ozzie Sheakley as Chairman, Gordon Greenwald as Vice Chairman, and Mary Peterson as Secretary.

On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Marlene Johnson for her many years of selfless dedication to Alaska Natives, HTC, and HHF. Marlene’s accomplishments merit far greater recognition than it is possible to provide here. The Board will more fully and appropriately recognize her contributions at a later date. It is no exaggeration to say her efforts have improved the available opportunities for every Alaska Native. HTC and HHF would not be where they are today, nor accomplished all they have without her efforts.

I have heard our Chairman, Russell Dick, say many times, “There is no HTC without HHF and no HHF without HTC.” Our organizations serve the same people, HTC shareholders and descendants; they have complementary Missions and are stronger and more effective when they work together. On behalf of the Board, I offer congratulations to the new HHF leadership, and its newest Trustee. We look forward to seeing HHF continue and expand the work it has been doing on behalf of us all.



Working where my heart is.

MistyMy name is Misty (Jack) Voeller. I am a Raven Coho from the white fog house. I was born in Juneau, but grew up in Hoonah. I am the Theater Supervisor for Icy Strait Point and it has been exciting to be a part of this team again. When Icy Strait Point first opened, I was the Supervisor for the “Journey Through Time”. I remember the excitement my crew and I had offering that excursion.  We were learning about our history and our culture and sharing it with our new friends. Over the years, I have worked at the Cookhouse Restaurant, the espresso bar, working for Tyler, our Vice President, and I worked as the Lighting Director for the Theater.

The Theater is where my heart is, so I am so excited to be back as the Theater Supervisor. I am actually working with some of the same people I started  working with when I started at Icy Strait Point. Mamie Williams was one of our guides and Archie Brown III was one of our actors when I was working in the “Journey Through Time” excursion. Some of our guests have come back to bring their grandchildren on the Journey” Through Time” excursion and they were shocked that it was no longer offered.  They were surprised because they loved it, so that was good to hear. They really enjoyed our Raven story and so did their grandchildren. It is always nice to have people come back year after year and tell you that Icy Strait Point is their favorite port!

Misty Voeller
ISP Theater Supervisor


Changing Roles Over the Years…

Paul JohansonI have a long history at Icy Strait Point. My Grandpa Dybdahl was a watchman down here so my family grew up in the white houses. My dad and his dad both worked down here as shipwrights and mechanics. My brothers also worked here; one as a carpenter and the other as a mechanic. I was the little boy climbing around in the cannery getting into trouble while they were working. When I entered high school I fished on two of the high-liner seiners, the Johnny A and the Vagabond Queen, so I spent a lot of time at the cannery working on gear and the boat.

After High School, I went off to become a diesel mechanic and eventually returned to Hoonah. Jon Kveum hired me in 1994 and I have worked here since. I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years; it’s gone from run down old cannery buildings to a nice well-kept tour destination. My role down here at Icy Strait Point has changed a lot over the years. I started out as the mechanic, then Assistant to Facility Director, Marine and Transport Manager, Supply Marine & Transport Manager, ZipRider Manager, and finally I am currently the Safety Facility Manager.

Throughout all the different positions and title changes, I’ve always tried to be there for the staff to help out anyway I can. I think Icy Strait Point is become a very positive impact for the community of Hoonah and I am proud to be a part of it.

Paul Johanson
Safety Facility Manager
Icy Strait Point


Working in the home of our grandfathers…

My name is Xéi Shge. I am of the Raven Moiety. I am a T’akdeintaan, a Black Legged Kittiwake, and I’m from the Seagull House. I’m the grandchild of James and Abby Grant and the daughter of Robert and Katherine Grant, all of them are from Hoonah.

I’ve been a Cultural Interpreter in Glacier Bay for about eleven years. I love what I do and I would like to keep doing it for ever.

The reason that I choose to work in Glacier Bay and make it my profession is for the memory of my grandparents and all the other grandparents of Glacier Bay that have ever been. I work hard so that their memories will live on forever. The whole Interpretive Services- Option 3experience of Glacier Bay is a special one and it is important to tell it to other and keep it alive; especially for the memory of the woman who gave her life for this place, her spirit still lives in the ice to this very day.

I come here for the animals, the landscape, and how it makes me feel to be part of this wonderful world. Just the other day I saw a Nanny birthing its kid, which is an experience that someone doesn’t get to be part of everyday and it makes me smile to be part of it. There is life springing up here in Glacier Bay all the time. The seals, the bears, the mountain goats, the seagulls, even the icebergs are being born here every day. Here there is new life taking place right before my very eyes.

When I was a child we were all taught to respect everything. We were taught to respect culture, not only our culture, but other cultures as well. We were taught to respect the songs, the dancing, and the stories that we were taught. We were taught to respect all at.oow, even if it belonged to another clan. We were also taught that everything has a spirit, including the rocks, the fog, and the glacier; everything has a spirit. I feel that deep connection here in Glacier Bay.

As a child my dad used to bring all of his children up to Glacier Bay. We used to troll for fish and collect seagull eggs. We’d hunt for seals, mountain goats, preparing their skins and hides with grandma and doing bead work with mom. We’d collect berries from Dundas Bay and deer from Hoonah. I also remember sitting around listening to all the stories that dad used to tell us as children. I can see myself sitting at the dinner table listening to his stories. When I am in Glacier Bay I feel his presence and know that he is still with me to this very day; he walks alongside all the other ancestors that are here and they are all here together.

Glacier Bay is the home of all of our grandfathers. They loved this place with all their hearts and it made them very happy to be here. I am happy to be here too and I feel at home when I am here in Sit Eeti Gheeyi.


Behind the Scenes!

My name is Jon Kveum and I’m the ISP Director of Facilities.  Much of the work we do in my department is behind the scenes.  We operate and maintain a wide array of mechanical and structural components necessary to run this unique port so the other departments – Programs, Food & Beverage, Retail – can provide our guests with an unforgettable experience during their short stay here.

Gee, that sounded nice…

The truth is that a lot of the work we do is rough and dirty.  Fortunately, I have a crew of guys who like nothing better than playing rough, working hard, and getting dirty while doing it.  Comes with the territory I guess.

But you know, lately more than anything, I feel like we’re in the moving business.  We move things around here a lot.  Buildings, trees, trails, roads, docks, you name it.  Just recently we moved the Tram cabin up by the Heritage center to become the new shuttle ticket sales cabin.  Then we moved the old shuttle ticket sales cabin down to the tram to be the new tram cabin.  This cabin looks like the other one but is quite a bit smaller.  So now that we’ve made the switch, the Forest Service employee who returns to set up shop and finds things somehow different from last year may feel a little like trying to fit a size twelve foot into a size 8 shoe.

We moved a bunk house last winter.  Boy, that was fun.  I can’t say much more about that except that it looks a lot better in town than it did out at camp.  Now it’s serving a purpose long ago intended, but unfulfilled until now.

Anybody remember when we had the tender float installed?  I do.  It was 2003, and due to an engineer misinterpreting the soundings from a fathometer strapped to the transom of a power skiff, the surveyor directed the operation, the piles were driven, the float was installed, and “hey, wait a minute.  Something isn’t quite right here.  That thing’s gonna dry up on a 4ft minus!”  Oops.  Simple mistake.  Could happen to anyone right?  So what do you do?  You move it.  Curious thing about pile driving:  It’s sometimes a lot harder to pull them out than to pound them in.

Anyway, it seems to me that the most important  thing in a business like ours is to keep moving forward.  Over the years we’ve expanded our venues, tried lots of new things, and learned how to be successful.  Right now we’re laying the foundation for a secure and successful future.  I’m sure that those who’ve been directly involved in the cruise ship terminal planning and negotiating process these past few years have felt something akin to moving heaven and earth.  Well, we’re still moving forward….and gaining momentum.




Here’s to another 7 years!


My journey at Huna Totem Corporation (HTC) began in September 2007. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with a group of talented people who have taught me so much. But let me start at the beginning…. I began working at HTC as an Accountant. I was able to put my accounting background to use working on HTC and ISP’s books. The fast pace of ISP’s summer season kept life humming in the Accounting office, with receipts and checks flying in and out of the office non-stop. I worked with the Accounting team exclusively for two years, and gained foundational knowledge of the structure of HTC and its many subsidiaries.

In mid-2009, HTC needed an Executive Assistant and I helped fill the spot “temporarily”, while still fulfilling some of my accounting duties. The temporary fill-in turned into three years as the Executive Assistant. Our CEO, Larry Gaffaney, joined our team at HTC about the same time and I was fortunate to work with a supervisor who was willing to highlight my strengths and help me grow and develop in the position. I enjoyed working for the Board of Directors and having more direct contact our shareholders than I had in my Accounting role. I had learned much about the structure of the company in my tenure in Accounting, but I was able to meet and develop relationships with the heart of our company, our shareholders.

Another opportunity presented itself and, last summer, I was given the opportunity to work on a new project, developing a new subsidiary of branded products while also working with our marketing team for Icy Strait Point and Alaska Native Voices. I have had the privilege of learning from Don Rosenberger, our VP of Tourism, and soaking up all the knowledge I can of the cruise industry and its importance to our livelihood and success at Icy Strait Point (ISP) and Alaska Native Voices (ANV). (Thank you for your patience, Don.) Working more closely with the team at ISP has been exciting, and I’m thrilled to be connected and eager to see what the future holds. I feel privileged to have touched on so many areas of Huna Totem and to have worked with so many wonderful people on our team at HTC, ISP, and ANV over the years. Together we will make our mission a reality. “We envision a future where the economic and cultural achievements of the Xúna Kaawu are recognized as the standard of excellence in the advancement of Native People.” Here’s to the next seven years!


My journey…

As I approach my 12th season at Icy Strait Point, I reflect on my journey.  I had just completed my 16th year at Hoonah Public Schools as the high school volleyball Coach and Instructional Aide when I decided to make a career move and go with my heart to seek employment with Point Sophia (Huna Totem Julie JacksonCorporation).  Jon Kveum hired me during the construction phase of 2003 as part of the landscaping crew.  That was a very physical summer for me, raking, transplanting, exposing underground rocks, and watering the trees and plants hours before other employees even showed up for work.  Then coming back for hours after everyone had gone home for the evening.

I knew that the creation of Icy Strait Point was going to be BIG:  the investment, the idea, and the impact.  Huna Totem Corporation and the community of Hoonah would come to life with visitors from all over the world.  I wanted to be front and center to welcome them to my home.

I worked my way from the landscaping crew to the construction crew by the end of the first summer.  I worked with Howie in the tool shed for a few months before inching my way into the office to help with time sheets and coding different projects.  I made myself available and never said no.

In 2005, I was introduced to the Fish House Excursion Lounge, I had to observe the lead dock rep from 9:00 to 11:15 a.m. and then it was all me; talk about being thrown into the hot coals. I didn’t realize it at the time but that was my ultimate test of leadership.  I survived, and that year I was promoted to Program Supervisor.

That promotion inspired me to strive for more, Program Manager and now the Director of Shore Excursions.  As I look back at my journey and look forward to my future, I am exactly where I want to be.  I am living the dream… I work for my corporation, I live in my hometown, I work side by side with family and friends, and I get to meet people from all over the world.

Chaak Tlaa
Julie Jackson, Director of Shore Excursions
Icy Strait Point