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Native America Calling: The death of Captain Cook
Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The death of Captain Cook
Eighteenth Century British explorer James Cook is revered for his drive and seamanship from Tonga and the South Pacific to the Bering Strait.

Cook put more than 120 English place names on the map from Mount Edgecombe in Alaska to the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand. That doesn’t count the many places named after him.

But Cook’s colonial exploits were often at odds with the Indigenous peoples of the places he visited, culminating in his death at the hands of Native Hawaiians on this date in 1779.

Today on Native America Calling, we examine his complicated legacy.

James Cook
A marker at the shoreline of Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii reads: “Near This Spot, Capt. James Cook Met His Death. February 14, 1779.” Photo: gillfoto

Guests on Native America Calling
Dr. Keanu Sai (Hawaiian subject), political scientist

Benjamin Jacuk (Dena’ina, Athabaskan, and Sugpiaq), researcher at the Alaska Native Heritage Center

Melissa Shaginoff, artist and curator

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Native America Calling
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