Esther Kaze and Daughters, 1989


Born March 27, 1932, in Hoonah, where she lived most of her life, Esther Kaze (born Lindoff) attended grade school there. Her Tlingit name was K'atl'du, her clan T’akdeintaan, T’akdein Hít (Whale Screen House).  She also lived in Tenakee Springs, Wrangell, Sterling and Anchorage. She was a Mount Fairweather Dancer, lifetime member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 12 and member of the Northern Light Tlingit Gospel Group. She was a store clerk, cannery worker and "great mother," her family said.

She was a tradition bearer and was highly respected for her knowledge of Tlingit culture.  In the publication A STUDY OF TRADITIONAL USE OF BIRDS’ EGGS  BY THE HUNA TLINGIT, National Park Service, 2002, Ester Kaze “expresses sadness at the changes she has personally experienced: ‘It's part of our ... food.  Like if you went to the store and [were] told that you couldn't have any chicken eggs, I mean how would you feel if they told you that?  And you really liked eggs. I feel real sad because we can't go up there, you know [to get food].’”

She was also named in the Acknowledgment section of the Proceedings of the Fourth Glacier Bay Science Symposium in October 26-28, 2004.

Esther Kaze died March 9, 2010, in Sitka. She was 77.

Esther Kaze