Kwaan means Community
Yakutat is located at the northernmost end of South-East Alaska, on a bay between the ocean and glaciers, surrounded by the highest coastal mountains on earth. The region has been inhabited for hundreds of years by the Tlingit people, now known as the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe. The name is from the Tlingit language, Yaakwdáat ("the place where canoes rest”). The people of Yakutat have a very strong historic, cultural, and economic connection to the land. We have a lengthy history of reliance on our habitat – subsisting off of the abundant Alaskan Wildlife. Economy that largely consists of fishing, fish processing, and tourism during the months of April to September. The nature of the economy in the area leaves an evident trend of seasonal and unstable employment as many rely upon commercial fishing and subsistence hunting and fishing as means of livelihood.
The Yakutat Borough is within and surrounded by the Tongass National Forest, Wrangell St-Elias and Glacier Bay National Parks and Preserves, and bounded by the Gulf of Alaska. There are seasonal settlements in remote locations at Tsiu, Icy Bay, Cape Yakataga, Akwe-Italio, and Dry Bay which exist primarily in support of sport and commercial fishing, mining, logging, recreation, and government operations.
Like most of Southeast Alaska, but even more so, Yakutat is geographically isolated with no road or rail access. There's an excellent airport with recently raised and paved cross runways adequate for large passenger and military aircraft landings, consisting of one 7,745 foot asphalt strip, and one 6,475 foot concrete strip. We have daily Alaska Airlines commercial jet service that directly connects with the nearest community of Juneau to the south (200 miles), Cordova to the north (213 miles), Anchorage, and Seattle. ACE Air Cargo brings daily mail and freight, through the US Postal Service, UPS and FedEx delivery. Private planes arrive throughout the year, landing on the many runways throughout the nearly 10,000 square mile borough.
The Alaska Marine Highway ferry Kennicott lands every week on a north/south alternate route from April through November. The ferry transports passengers and vehicles, materials, supplies, and food. Alaska Marine Lines barges arrive monthly, year round. Private and commercial vessels transiting the Gulf of Alaska arrive year round as well, often taking shelter from storms. Yakutat Bay is the only deep water and ice free port in the Gulf of Alaska between the inside passage of SE Alaska, and Prince William Sound, which offers shelter from storms in the gulf, and support for vessels in need of repair, supplies, and fuel.