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:
- It aims to preserve Alaska Native culture by giving tribes and tribal organizations the ability to oversee local child welfare problems, rather than social workers coming in from outside their communities. That often results in children being removed from their communities.
- Dressed in full Gwich’in regalia, Potts recounted growing up in a modest dirt-floor hunting cabin in Eagle, losing someone close to suicide, and taking the conventions theme of strength in unity to get back to enjoying life again.
- The Juneau School District wants to consolidate its two high school football programs and cheer squads. Superintendent Dr. Mark Miller said at a press conference Thursday afternoon that the decision to send a formal request to the Alaska School Activities Association has been two years in the making.
- Three helmets, two hats, a headdress and a beaded shirt are from as far back as the 1600s to about 1890. They will be stored through the National Park Service, with access being granted to the Tlingit clans.