Sealaska Heritage Institute digitizes, posts video of Celebration 1990

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Sealaska Heritage Institute has digitized and posted online video of Celebration 1990.

    Celebration 1990 was the fifth Celebration SHI hosted, with the featured theme, “Continuing Our Traditional Way of Life: In Our Ancestors’ Trail.”

    It was the largest Celebration to date at that time, featuring 40 dance groups, speeches and stories from prominent Elders and opening remarks by Austin Hammond, Sr, clan leader of the Lukaax̱.ádi.

    Notably, the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate dancers participated that year, and Sealaska President and CEO Byron Mallott and prominent clan leaders and Elders presented a gift to the Hawaiians, continuing the motif of hosting a multicultural gathering of Indigenous groups across Alaska and beyond as had been seen at the previous Celebration.

    SHI sought grants to digitize and share past Celebration tapes so the footage could be used as a resource for dance groups wanting to learn from past performances, language learners wanting to hear Elders speaking, people wanting to learn more about their culture and to teach others about Southeast Alaska Native cultures.

    The rest of SHI’s Celebration footage, up through Celebration 2016, will be posted online in 2022. Celebration 2018 was the first Celebration posted on YouTube in its entirety in 2019.

    The program cover for Celebration 1990 was created by the late Chilkat weaver Clarissa Rizal (formerly Hudson) and her husband Bill Hudson.

    The Celebration: 10,000 Years of Cultural Survival project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

    Celebration is a dance-and-culture festival first held in 1982 that has grown into the world’s largest gathering of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people.

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