OCTOBER 8, 2013


Born on December 29, 1927, in Sitka, Alaska, her Tlingit name meant “Raven Looking Forward.”  In 1966, Ellen became the first woman to be accepted as a member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood.  In 1972, she helped found the Alaska Humatities Forum.  Hays began work with the National Park Service in 1967 and, on July 9, 1974, became the first woman and the first Alaska Native appointed superintendent of a national park in the Pacific Northwest, serving through 1978.  She was instrumental in the Brotherhood’s successful effort to operate the Visitor Center craft shop wing of Sitka National Historical Park, which eventually became known as the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center.  Ellen promoted the values of art and the humanities.  She served on many boards and commissions that were dedicated to these causes, both in Alaska and in Bainbridge, Washington, where she moved with her husband in 1994.  Hays returned to Sitka in 2013.  She believed one should always be learning.  Ellen passed away in Sitka.

  “Helen Hope Hays,” Sitka Daily Sentinel, 10/11/2013.  Retrieved 7/22/2020, http://sitkasentinel.com/7/2012-05-10-22-08-43/obituaries/6389-ellen-hope-hays
 Linda Blanken and Scott Sanborn, “Helen Hope Hays: Alaska,” Humanities: National Endowment for the Humanities, V. 6, No. 1 (February 1985).  Retrieved 7/22/2020, https://books.google.com/books?id=INK_y5hvyHMC&pg=RA2-PA22&lpg=RA2 PA22&dq=%22Ellen+hope+hays%22&source=bl&ots=S0YnHsOpo5&sig=ACfU3U0JclUK6MXmXmmfpbvLshEi8p6TJw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjA0_StoOHqAhWjVN8KHacEDnY4HhDoATAJegQICRAB#v=onepage&q=%22Ellen%20hope%20hays%22&f=false
Photo:  Sitka National Historic Park, 8/21/2015.  Public Domain.  Source: https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark/posts/821153541316479.

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