Sealaska Heritage Institute bills the Toddler Regalia Review as the most adorable event at Celebration, the biennial festival of Lingít, Haida and Tsimshian culture. It delivers.
That was true for 4-year-old Kai Young, who took the stage on June 10 in a raven robe designed by her father and sewed by her mother.
“This is her first time wearing any regalia,” said her mother, Molly Sharp.
“She was born right before the last Celebration, so we did not get to come and then with it being canceled the last few years this is her first kind of big cultural event. So it’s pretty exciting.”
Each child walked across the stage with a family member while an emcee described their clan regalia, who made it, and what it represents. Some toddlers were shy. Others were ready for an audience, with a few spins or some dancing.
Lori David’s 5-year-old triplet sons wore blue-and-black Kaagwaantaan wolf tunics and waved to their father John from the stage. He said it felt cool to see his boys up there.
All 22 participants gathered on stage at the end of the review for a photo — a showcase of toddler-sized regalia from clans throughout Southeast Alaska.