THE WHALE HOUSE
Presenting the intriguing story of the Whale House heist.
Carved by Haida genius artist Kadjisdu.axtc in the late 1700s, the Whale House is considered by many the “Sistine Chapel” of North America Native Art.
The Alaskan town of Klukwan was the epicentre of the Tlingit civilization.
For centuries southern museums and art dealers coveted the Whale House treasures. They were eventually stolen and taken to Seattle. But a strong Tlingit woman Lani Hotch fought back. And after years of struggle, the community won a landmark victory of Tribal Law. They regained control of their art and returned the historic treasures to Klukwan.
A condition of the return of the art was for the community to provide an appropriate home. After years of effort, the Whale House is now open to the public.
A symbol of Tlingit pride, it overlooks the Bald Eagle Preserve inspiring a generation of young men and women to celebrate their traditions and find value in a return to their native lifestyle.
Though personal stories, this original feature length documentary film also explores issues of cultural appropriation, and who has the right to represent Native Cultures in the Age of mass tourism and New Age spirituality.
With rare performances by renowned artists and luminaries from Alaska and Canada. Offering an engaging look at the artistic Native Renaissance of the Pacific northwest, and how it is helping Native Peoples dealing with the traumas of the conquest.