The demonstration at Sitka National Historical Park was organized by the Tlingit community. Gary Lang, board president of the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center, said neither he nor his artists aware that a protest had been planned.
Lang had hopeful news for the crowd:
“There has been an arrangement that has been made that is going to make the rounds with the Park Service so that we don’t have to shut the doors today. And the negotiations will be ongoing. I don’t know how long it will take. The Center’s not closing down. We can continue operations, but it will be under a different status.”
Lang said the status would be “voluntary” until a formal agreement had been reached.
The National Park Service notified the center on June 14 that its lease would not be renewed, and gave 10 days’ notice to vacate. The NPS at that time also confirmed that it had begun an investigation into financial mismanagement at the center.
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