Journal for my favorite glacial valley
A scoping document and collection of journals from 40 years of visits to what Europeans named the Herbert River and Glacier.
We really need ‘authorized’ Lingít names for this glacier, river and valley that Euros named for a Confederate colonel. Our great cultural atlas, T&M12, lists no place names here. Fortunately, Cecilia Kunz remembered the sediment laden river was called L’ux, silty or milky water (Herbert River). There was even a group (clan? house?) who took their name from the river:
“People from here were called lux’eidi, but they were still Aak’w kwaan. 9/27/91” (O&K92)
Cecilia and Marie Olson gave us no name for the glacier from which this river flows. But by extension, it seems logical to call it L’ux Sit’i, L’ux glacier. Because I can’t bear to use the Important White Guy Name, I’ll use these names as placeholders, but will gladly replace or modify them on advice from speakers and culture bearers.
In the early 1980s, mentored by Doctor Lawrence, the pioneer of post-glacial succession studies in our region, I established plots in this valley, to which I could quickly hike from my home on the delta, downriver. Don felt that with the exception of Sít’ Eeti Geeyí, bay in place of the glacier (Glacier Bay), this undeveloped valley was the best place in Southeast Alaska for study of community development in the wake of a receding glacier. He asked me to advocate for its permanent protection.