The biennial cultural event begins today (Thursday). It brings together Southeast Alaska Natives from all over the state, the Lower 48 and Canada to share their art, dance and stories. This year the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) joined with the One People Canoe Society and other canoe teams to paddle to Celebration. The teams also used the stops along the way to raise awareness about suicide prevention.
The first teams left Kake on Saturday for Angoon, where another canoe team joined them. On Monday, a team from Hoonah joined in Funter Bay. They camped along the way, spending Tuesday night at Portland Island for the short paddle yesterday to Juneau’s Auke Recreation Area.
About 90 people made the trip and came from Angoon, Hoonah, Hydaburg, Juneau, Kake, Sitka, and Wrangell. They ranged in age from 10 to 70, and all seemed to relish the traditional mode of travel.
Rosemarie Alexander was at Auke Rec when the canoes paddled to shore, and spoke to observers & paddlers about the significance of the journey.
- Heli-skiing has long been a controversial topic in Haines. The interests of the industry often clash with people who live near heliports and don’t want the noise disturbing their peace and quiet. But there’s another group that’s impacted by helicopter noise: mountain goats.
- In the Northwest Arctic, caribou hunting has been contentious for years. Alaska’s largest herd continues to decline while tensions have emerged between rural subsistence users and outside hunters.
- From the Aleutian island of Akutan to the arctic village of Kiana, 13 communities have been crowned champions of a rural energy competition. The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that it will help these communities cut their energy use by 15 percent by training local utility providers.
- It’s costing 14 percent more to take the ferry to and from the Lower 48. The higher fare is part of another round of tariff increases aimed at boosting income and equalizing rates across all routes.