An Alaskan chief returns home

From the Fairfax Daily News-Miner:

After more than half a century, the final chapter in a long unfinished story happily ended with the return home of a beloved Fort Yukon leader, Chief Esias Loola.

Loola, 81, died June 3, 1957, in a Seattle hospital where he was being treated for tuberculosis and was buried nearby, thousands of miles from his Yukon River village home.

On Aug. 30, the Fort Yukon community ceremoniously welcomed Chief Loola home with an Episcopal rite funeral and burial next to Katherine and son, John Stevens, in the village cemetery, followed by a potlatch, giveaway and dance.

The overdue rites of passage began with a funeral service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, where the former chief worshipped during his lifetime.

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