On February 1, 2013 at a Sealaska board meeting, Sealaska leadership honored Clarence Jackson Sr., who was referred to as a giant among Southeast Alaska Natives. He was named the first Director Emeritus for the Sealaska board of directors.
Clarence Jackson Sr. signed the articles of incorporation for Sealaska in 1972. Until his death in January 2013, Jackson guided the 13-member board on Native protocols, delivered speeches in Tlingit, and used storytelling as a means of communication. In his capacity as a traditional leader, his efforts touched the lives of many people across the region and beyond.
He was self-employed for most of his life and was a long-time merchant and professional fisherman. An unrelenting champion for subsistence rights, Clarence was the village voice in the boardroom.
Clarence once said our lifestyle is changing and we need to continue to fight for our traditional lifestyle in terms of food or we may will lose it. Clarence believed the assault on the subsistence life will continue, and he felt that Sealaska was a strong political advocate for Native people on the issue.
He was Tlingit/Eagle, Tsaagweidí (Killerwhale) Clan, child of Kaach.ádi Clan. His Tlingit names where GastIN, AssXAAch and Daanaawu. He spoke the Tlingit language fluently. Clarence was born and raised in Kake and attended high school at Sheldon Jackson in Sitka, Alaska.