Alaska Tlingits hold memorial ceremony online amid pandemic

    David Katzeek. Photo credit to Sealaska Heritage Institute.

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — When tribal elder David Katzeek died in October, Tlingit leaders in Alaska scrambled to find a way to hold a traditional memorial ceremony during a pandemic.

    Their task was to balance honoring him with protecting the living from the coronavirus.

    The Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau has been transforming its in-person programming to virtual events, and figured this was the next step in helping preserve Tlingit culture.

    The institute hosted a Zoom memorial gathering and live-streamed it online.

    The experience was such a success, it's now the basis for guides being written for others to use technology to conduct ancient rites safely amid the pandemic.

    More from News of the North

    Current Conditions

    Crude Oil Price