While waiting for the other house groups to arrive the people began
to build a large signal bonfire they hoped would be seen by the village
lookout at Chaatlk'aanoow (Fort on top of the Halibut), or one of the
other three or four village forts near Point Craven and Morris Reef,
nine to twelve miles away on Chichagof Island.
Because of the October rain and storms they had to wait for a clear
evening before lighting the signal fire. As each House group arrived
they marked a tree near Moses Point to commemorate the occasion of their
arrival at the end of this great survival march. They also marked a
young hemlock tree on three sides to locate the spot where the signal
fire was prepared.
A clear night arrived and the people could see the other shore nine
miles away. The twenty-foot high signal fire was started and after it
was burning good, small bull pine trees were lifted on long poles and
placed on top of the signal fire. The fire would flare-up every time
the bull pine trees ignited. This was done so that anyone who saw the
fire could tell that it was a manmade signal fire.
The people were happy to see the bonfire burning so brightly, especially
when the bull pine trees were placed near the top and they flared-up
so brightly. A spontaneous celebration began to take place. It was unbelievable,
but from somewhere a drum began to beat. Others began to keep time by
beating small hand sticks while others beat larger beach logs with heavy
sticks. Singers joined the drummers. More people joined the singers
in song after song of traditional Tlingit songs of celebration and thanksgiving.
One by one the clan elders rose to speak. In a very formal manner reserved
for great occasions, they thanked the people for enduring the hardships
of the trail and for helping each other out along the way. They called
out the names of their grandchildren and thanked them for their help
on the many days on the trail. They spoke with pride on how much their
young grandchildren had learned about the ways of the trail.
It is said that a Point House elder spoke and said,
|Always remember that you are the Sheet'ká
|You and you alone carry the proud names of our
|You are worthy of the great names
you carry for in this battle and on this survival march you have
added glory to those proud names.
|The clan will always remember that
it was you who fought the hated Anooshee in defense of the homeland
of the Tlingit people, when none of our allies came to our assistance.
|It was you who spilled your blood rather than disgrace
our people by surrendering to the hated Anooshee.
|It was you who fought for and held
Shisg'i Noow for those many days.
|It is you who turned back the Anooshee
attack on Shisg'i Noow.
|It was you who knocked down Baranof
and saw him carried from the battlefield.
|It was you who endured the many days
of cannon fire in Shisg'i Noow.
|It was you who endured the long march from Shisg'i
Noow to Hanus Bay in order for our tribe to survive with honor.
|We give a very special thank you to
our sons and daughterthe Kiks.ádi yádi. You
are all of the Eagle moiety. We are proud that you fought by our
side in our time of need. We will never forget it. The Kaagwaantaan,
the Wooshkeetaan, the Teikweidí, the Shangukeidí
and all the other Eagle clans that you represent will long honor
your names for the valor you have shown.
|Gunalchéesh, ho, ho.
|Now we must continue to be strong
as we face the future.
|We have much to do before we can return
to our ancient homeland in Sheet'ká.
|The blockade must begin now.
We will return to our homeland when the time is
Canoes Arrive, Chaatlk'aanoow