Scientists and Indigenous leaders team up to conserve seals and an ancestral way of life at Yakutat, Alaska

Five hundred years ago, in a mountain-rimmed ocean fjord in southeast Alaska, Tlingit hunters armed with bone-tipped harpoons eased their canoes through chunks of floating ice, stalking seals near Sít Tlein (Hubbard) glacier. They must have glanced nervously up at the glacier’s looming, fractured face, aware that cascades of ice could thunder down and imperil the boats—and their lives. As they drew near, they would have asked the seals to give themselves as food for the people and talked to the spirit of Sít Tlein to release the animals from his care.

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