Operator slates itineraries calling at Native village

ANNETTE ISLAND, Alaska -- Small-ship operator Cruise West said it will offer several Inside Passage itineraries this year that will call at Metlakatla, a Native Tsimshian village on this island near Ketchikan.

Founded in 1887 by Tsimshians who moved there from British Columbia, the village is the only Native community in Alaska that holds the status of Federal Indian Reservation.

The village's approximately 1,500 residents support themselves primarily through fishing; salmon and halibut canning, and subsistence hunting and gathering of such creatures as clams, waterfowl and seaweed.

Cruise West said its four-hour tours will be escorted by a local Tsimshian guide. Passengers will visit the Native-owned fishpacking company, the Fr. William Duncan Cottage Museum, the village longhouse for a traditional dance performance and the community hall, where local artists display their work.

William Duncan was a Scottish-born missionary who helped several hundred Tsimshian people during their move in 1887 from a settlement in British Columbia after a fallout with church authorities there. His cabin, with many of its original furnishings still inside, became a museum after his death in 1918.

Cruise West voyages that feature Metlakatla include eight-night Inside Passage cruise-tours from Juneau or Victoria, and eight-night voyages between Ketchikan and Juneau. An 11-night Spirit of Oceanus cruise between Victoria and Prince William Sound also includes a tour of Metlakatla.

For prices, additional information or reservations, call (800) 426-7702 or visit the company's Web site at www.cruisewest.com.

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