Celebration returns for 40th year

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The biennial event Celebration, an event bringing together clans from Southeast Alaska and beyond, is next week.

    Sealaska Heritage Institute will hold an in-person Celebration in Juneau from June 8 to the 11. This year marks the 40th year anniversary of the event.

    1200 dancers will be performing at the Centennial Hall, the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, and the new Sealaska Arts Campus.

    The theme this year is; "Celebrating 10,000 years of cultural survival."

    "During our tenure, our occupancy in southeast Alaska, we've endured many challenges, including climate change associated with various glacial advances and retreats. We've survived pandemics that arrived with immigrants. We survived a period of ugly history in which our culture was suppressed, and more recently, the COVID pandemic, but through all of these changes, we survived and we prospered," she said. "It just seemed like an appropriate theme for this years celebration."

    Worl said that the Auk Kwann is organizing the June 7th canoe journey landing, which will begin at 6 pm, but will be dependent on the tide. The landing will take place at the Auke recreation area at the Raven, Eagle shelter.

    On June 8th at noon, Sealaska will hold a grand opening of their new arts center, and later that day at 6 pm the grand entrance will take place.

    On June 9th and 10th dance performances will take place from 10:45 am–9:40 pm.

    A celebration pass is needed to access the dance performances at Centennial Hall and the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, as well as other indoor events.

    On June 11th, a parade will be held from Juneau public library to centennial hall at 11 am, dance performances will be from 1 - 4 pm, and the celebration close out will be later that day at 5 pm.

    Worl said masking and proof of vaccination will be required.

    "Protecting our people and maintaining the highest level of safety that we are able to achieve. That's our goal, and so what we are requiring you will have to have a vaccine for those who are over five you're going to have to wear a mask for those over three, and then we'll also have temperature checks at all of the entryways," she said. "The safety of our participants is a priority for us, and we have developed what we think is a thorough mitigation plan, and we've actually worked with the state's plan safer events office, so we want to people to come to Celebration, and we are trying to ensure the best safety environment that we can, but join us in celebrating our culture."

    Celebration will be broadcast on statewide TV through KTOO, and will also be live-streamed online through the Sealaska Heritage YouTube channel.

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