Toddlers showcase Southeast Alaska clan regalia at Celebration

Kai Sharp wears a raven robe designed by her father and sewn by her mother. June 10, 2022. (Tripp Crouse/KNBA)

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.

For many of the young participants, it was their first time at Celebration due to pandemic cancellations. The event went virtual in 2020 and was canceled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.”

Triplets Lawrence, Liam, and Logan with their mother, Lory David. June, 10, 2022. (Tripp Crouse/KNBA)

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.

Claire Stremple

Alaska News Reporter, KTOO

I believe every Alaskan has a right to timely information about their health and health systems, and their natural environment and its management. My goal is to report thoughtful stories that inform, inspire and quench the curiosity of listeners across the state.

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