About a hundred people gathered on the steps of Juneau’s Sealaska Plaza Friday evening for one of several candlelight vigils held around the state for Mackenzie Howard.
Alaska State Troopers are investigating the 13-year-old girl’s murder last week in the small Southeast village of Kake.
The vigil included performances of a Tlingit Mourning Song and a Haida Prayer Song.
Paul Marks of Juneau offered a prayer, struggling at times to find the words to describe the sadness and pain felt by those who attended the gathering.
“But looking around at each and every one of your faces today,” Marks said. “I see a love for your family, because she was our family too.”
Mourners also held candlelight vigils Friday in Kake, Sitka, Petersburg, Anchorage, and Fairbanks.
Organizers collected donations for the Howard family at Friday’s event in Juneau. A checking account has also been set up at Wells Fargo Bank. The account number is 5274579043.
Tlingit Mourning Song led by Nancy Barnes:
Haida Prayer Song led by Vicki Soboleff:
- Wayne Price thinks if there is going to be a wider healing among Natives in America, the U.S. government needs to apologize for the devastating toll the boarding schools took.
- Alaska’s economic woes are affecting all corners of the state, especially communities that were banking on an Arctic boom.
- The dead included one police officer from a local university. At least nine other people were hurt, including four police officers.
- Studies recommended relocating villages like Newtok, Kivalina and Shishmaref. But more than 10 years later they are still there, with waves getting higher and storms getting stronger.