Sealaska Heritage Institute announces dates for Celebration '24

    Dancers and drummers lined Willoughby Avenue at Celebration 2022. (Photo by Greg Knight)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Sealaska Heritage Institute Board of Trustees have announced the dates for the next in-person Celebration will be June 5 through 8, 2024.

    Celebration is one of the largest gatherings of Southeast Alaska Native peoples, drawing thousands of people, including more than 2,000 dancers.

    SHI previously announced that Dakhká Khwáan Dancers (People of the Inland), a Tlingit group based in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, will be the lead dance group for Celebration 2024.

    The lead dance group is responsible for leading the Grand Entrance and Grand Exit songs, during which every participating group dances across the stage to mark the beginning and end of Celebration.

    That requires the lead group to drum and sing for up to three hours straight during both processions.

    Celebration 2020 was a virtual event because of the pandemic. With the release of the vaccine, widespread immunizations, and a well-developed COVID mitigation plan, a live event was recently held in 2022.

    The 2022 gathering marked the 40th anniversary of the event that was first held in 1982. SHI President Rosita Worl remarked, “We survived this pandemic. We are still here,” which embodied the theme of Celebration 2022: Celebrating 10,000 Years of Cultural Survival.

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