Cyril George' family donates 4,000 photos to Sealaska

    Lillian Woodbury (left) and Dr. Rosita World at the transfer ceremony.

    Angoon, Alaska (KINY) - The family of the late Tlingit traditional scholar and master storyteller Cyril George, Sr. donated photos collected over 75 years that depict Alaska Native life and history.

    The donation is thought to be the largest collection of photographs made by a Tlingit person.

    The donation was made during a transfer ceremony at the Sealaska Heritage Institute Clan House last week.

    Lillian Woodbury, George' granddaughter, said Cyril's passion will live on and benefit generations to come, "Cyril had a love of people and enjoyed capturing special moments.  He had a knack for it and he was a natural.  That love has carried over onto me and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren."

    SHI President Dr. Rosita Worl said they greatly appreciated the donation, "Our people will be thanking Cyril George for recording our history through photographs for many, many generations.  Cyril George is going to live on through the centuries.  He will be with us through his work."

    The photos depict people, boats, meetings and basketball games, and the collection includes many images that document meetings of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and the struggle for civil rights of Natives.

    The photos date back to the 1920s.

    Cyril was a Raven and leader in the Deisheetaan (Beaver) clan of Angoon.  His Tlingit name was Kaalkaawu.

    He served on the Angoon City Council and as Mayor.  He was one of the world's most notable Indigenous storytellers.


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