Editor’s note: 360 North is under contract with Sealaska Heritage Institute to produce television and online video coverage of Celebration.
Coverage from Celebration 2018
The totem pole was created for Goldbelt Heritage Foundation and Douglas Indian Association, as part of a healing process for the T’aaḵú Ḵwáan Tlingit tribe. The pole memorializes the deliberate burning of Akáx Yaa Andagán, the Douglas Indian village, in 1962 and honors the residents who lost their homes.
The competition wasn’t just about awarding the traditional food. The event organizer says it’s also about a history of cultural resilience that still resonates today.
A weaving presentation displayed blankets, aprons and other items made by practicing artisans from Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. About 50 people attended the presentation Wednesday by weavers and weaving historians in the Shuka Hit clan house in the Walter Soboleff Building.
Members of the T’aaḵú Ḵwáan gathered Tuesday at Savikko Park in Douglas for the raising of the Yanyeidì Gooch kootéeyaa, or Wolf totem pole.
A group of paddlers and their canoes have finished their weeklong journey to Juneau. They traveled from Ketchikan, Sitka, Kake, Angoon, Hoonah, Yakutat — even Canada for Celebration.
Ahead of Celebration in 2016, Dennis Jack of Angoon organized a canoe group with seven veterans paddling. This year, the combat veteran says there’s 22.
More than a hundred paddlers navigate about a dozen canoes toward Juneau for this year’s Celebration. Those with the One People Canoe Society paddle from their Southeast Alaska towns to Juneau. To keep everyone safe, support vessels run alongside these canoes to provide emergency care or just shelter from the storm.
Dance groups, artists, canoe paddlers and traditional food experts are gearing up for Celebration 2018, June 6-9 at Juneau’s Centennial Hall.
Southeast Alaska’s Tlingit culture doesn’t stop at the Canadian border. An Inland Tlingit group from up the Taku River has strong connections to Alaska.
The Celebration canoes have arrived, and KCAW’s Emily Kwong and KTOO’s Jennifer Canfield were among the hundreds there for it at Sandy Beach.