PLHC Highlights Dr. Emily Moore’s work at Spring 2019 AWP

At the Spring 2019 American West Program, Dr. Emily Moore discussed her book, Proud Raven, Panting Wolf: Carving Alaska’s New Deal Totem Parks. Following a formal presentation, PLHC faculty member Dr. Ruth Alexander, served as the interviewer for a hosted conversation, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Published by University of Washington Press in 2018, Moore’s research concerns the development of totem parks during the New Deal era. At this time, the U.S. Government paid Tlingit and Haida men to restore or replicate 19th-century totem poles in totem parks for tourists. The restoration program represented one of the largest acts of federal patronage for Native art in the 20th century. Little did the federal government know that the totem poles they were attempting to save were also crucial sources that documented Tilingit and Haida land claims in what had become the Tongass National Forest. Today, under the Trump Administration, the national forest is facing renewed threats of resource exploitation in a large, relatively undisturbed ecosystem.

Raised in Alaska, Moore’s research highlights the tense relationship between public lands and indigenous sovereignty in the 1930s, and recounts how Tlingit and Haida carvers turned a federal restoration program for their totem poles into an assertion of their long-standing claims to the land.

Watch the Spring 2019 AWP with art historian, Dr. Emily Moore

The Spring 2019 American West Program featuring Dr. Emily Moore

Posted by Public Lands History Center at Colorado State University on Thursday, February 21, 2019