JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Federal officials have approved changing the name of a Southeast Alaska bay following a petition from tribal leaders over its association with military aggression.
CoastAlaska reported the U.S. Board on Geographic Names approved changing the name of Saginaw Bay to Skanax Bay last week.
The Alaska House of Representatives and Alaska Historical Commission endorsed the name change earlier this year.
The change was requested by the Organized Village of Kake, the area’s tribal government.
Three villages were targeted by the U.S.S. Saginaw warship in 1869.
Tribal accounts say villagers evacuated in advance of the attacks but soldiers burned winter food stores, leading to widespread starvation and suffering.
The period known as the Kake War is linked to other Southeast Alaska names including Murder Cove, Surprise Harbor and Retaliation Point.
Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org