Place Where You Live:

Sitka, Alaska

A pair of bald eagles on the cross above St. Michael The Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Sitka, Alaska

Sitka, Alaska, is a unique place, full of history and culture, as well as a connection to the wilderness. Long the home of the Tlingít, the Russians found Sitka and settled here in the 1700s. Sitka, or Sheetká or Novoarkhangelsk, depending on your heritage, became the capital of Russian-America, and it was here in 1867 that Alaska was transferred into American hands.

A remote island town of 9,000 people, Sitka still has a significant Tlingít, Haida and Tsimshian population (about 20-25 percent). There also is a major Russian historical presence with Sitka serving as the headquarters for the All-Alaska Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. We have a small national park in town, Sitka National Historical Park, that includes trail system with totem poles, an Indian culture center, and the Russian Bishop’s House. Sitka also is in the middle of the Tongass National Forest.

We have five city-owned small boat harbors within a mile of city hall, and there are nearly as many coastal brown bears on our island as people. We’re on the Pacific coast, so we have dozens of humpback whales and other marine life, too.