American Bald Eagle Foundation
I was very fortunate in my travels in Alaska to meet the people connected with the American Bald Eagle Foundation in Haines AK. The name is a little misleading because it covers far more than Bald Eagles. It is a live raptor center with the Eagles, hawks, and owls, hundreds of real wildlife figures and thousands of photographs, artwork, and souvenirs to see. They do good work there promoting awareness and conservation of the Eagles and all of Alaska in general. Although I missed it by a couple of days this year the foundation has a week-long Bald Eagle Festival every year in November with rehabilitated Eagles released to the wild, Indian wood carving, culture tours and much more. The American Bald Eagle Foundation is a registered 501 c3 charity so if you are the sort who needs to lighten your tax burden I suggest you give them a look. They are a worthwhile cause.
While in Alaska I was also lucky enough to take a brief tour of the nearby Tlingit Native village of Klukwan. I was told that the residents prefer to be left alone and would prefer not to have photographs made of their village. Sometimes there is tension between the natives and other people in the area. I can appreciate that, I am sure I would feel the same if I were in their shoes. The Tlingit live in an extremely modest village. Coming from a land where a Native American casino can be found in all four directions it is easy to forget that there are still Native Americans in the country who do not benefit from the gaming revenue. It is obvious to me that the Tlingit Natives get little or none of that money. The Tlingit Natives are important to us because they are closely intertwined with the Bald Eagle in their culture and their history gives them the Chilkat lands. It is their domain and they should get the respect for keeping a pure reserve for literally centuries.
The photo you see above is one of my favorites because it shows just a hint of the Klukwan village meeting hall in the background. I had better photos in that series but I chose that one specifically because it tells the story of the close relationship the village of Klukwan has with the Eagles. Telling a story is one of the keys to a great photograph. A picture is worth a thousand words. Nuff said!