Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Sealaska Heritage Institute has announced the winners of its traditional food contests, held as part of Celebration 2022.
The winner of the back seaweed contest is Mike Allard, while Donna James took first place in dry fish, and Sharon Olsen took first place in seal oil.
Olsen says the secret to good seal oil is that she’s tender, patient and picky about her craft, and she is careful to ensure that no blood, hair or fat remain in her prize-winning oil.
“I know I’ve been successful when I can see clearly through the jar,” she said.
Allard said he learned how to prepare black seaweed from his parents and that he made small adjustments.
“My motto is ‘dry with love,” he said.
Winners were announced onstage at Centennial Hall on Thursday afternoon. The institute sponsors the contests to introduce young people to traditional Native foods and to highlight the health benefits of traditional Native cuisine. Names of contestants were kept secret from the judges prior to the judging
The winners are as follows:
Back Seaweed Contest
Mike Allard, first place
Theresa Wellington, second place
Christina Weber, third place
Donna James, first place
Kenneth Willard Jr., second place
Mike Allard, third place
Sharon Olsen, first place
Sally Joseph, second place
Diane Carrier, third place