Harry Douglas and Esther Douglas


Harry Douglas (Sinc yee yeil) was born September 1, 1897 (or 1896) in Hoonah.  His clan was T’akdeintaan, Tsalxaan Hít (Mt. Fairweather House).  He was raised by his stepfather William Douglas.  He was the former longtime mayor of Hoonah. He served for about 10 years.  Alf Skafelstad said that Harry Douglas “…made the contacts to incorporate the town.  That way you can get a little federal money, and that’s how you start progressing.”  Harry Douglas was one of the strongest supporters of having Hoonah declared a first class city.

He was a foreman for the Icy Straits Canning Co. in Hoonah and was Grand President of the Alaska Native Brotherhood in 1950-51.

He was a strong supporter of traditional subsistence use of Glader Bay for the Hoonah people.  From Land Reborn: A history of administration and visitor use in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve: “On February 19, 1954, Regional Director Lawrence C. Merriam instructed Superintendent Henry G. Schmidt to confer with the BIA's Juneau Area Office. Schmidt met with Charles H. Jones of the BIA and Daniel H. Ralston of the FWS, and the three agreed that "some method of control in the taking of hair seal in Glacier Bay is necessary and compatable [sic] with the over-all enforcement picture in Southeastern Alaska." Schmidt and Jones continued the discussion with Mayor Harry Douglas in Hoonah, where all agreed that the "continued use" of resources in Glacier Bay by Natives of Hoonah was a "fair and logical solution to the problem, under present conditions." Schmidt and Jones then drafted recommendations for the director of the NPS and the commissioner of Indian affairs.”

He was married to Esther Greenwald.

Harry Douglas died April 8, 1955 on Hill Street in Hoonah of a heart attack and was buried at Pitt Island.