Celebration 2022 Native food contest winners announced

    (Photo couresty of Sealaska Heritage.)

    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

    Dry Fish

        Donna James, first place
        Kenneth Willard Jr., second place
        Mike Allard, third place

    Seal Oil

        Sharon Olsen, first place
        Sally Joseph, second place
        Diane Carrier, third place

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