Several organizations are hosting in-person or virtual events Monday to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day in Alaska.
Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker named the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in 2015 and it was formalized into law in 2017. President Joe Biden issued the first-ever presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day on Friday.
Many events this year are being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are a few ways to celebrate in Anchorage or join virtual conversations throughout the state:
Groups including Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alaska Native Heritage Center and Alaska Pacific University will co-host a virtual celebration featuring traditional dancing and speeches from community members and cultural leaders. The event will be livestreamed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, on APU’s website, Facebook and Youtube channel. The event is also cohosted by Alaska’s People, Alaska Native Professional Association, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 87, Alaska Native Village Corporation Association, Native Peoples Action Community Fund and Pamyua.
Frontierland Park near downtown Anchorage has been re-designed to showcase Dena’ina culture. The grand reopening will feature speakers at 11 a.m. Monday (538 West 10th Ave). Free hot chocolate and coffee will be served; masks will be provided and are encouraged.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks will livestream keynote speaker Pearl Brower at noon Monday on the university’s Facebook page.
The University of Alaska Southeast will host a virtual conversation beginning at 9 a.m. Monday titled “Ḵaa Tukax̱saké Héende – Towards the River That Untangles a Personʼs Mind.” A panel discussion in the afternoon will focus on the future of Indigenous language revitalization. The events will take place over Zoom.
The university’s Ketchikan campus will host a virtual conversation at 3 p.m. with Richard and Janice Jackson and show the film “On the Land” at 4 p.m. followed by a discussion after. The events will be shown on the campus library’s Facebook page.