Alaska Life

Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations happening in Anchorage

Indigenous Peoples Day, APU, Alaska Pacific University

Several organizations are hosting events Monday to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day in Alaska. The national holiday, which celebrates Native people and culture, is recognized on the second Monday of October.

In Anchorage, the Moseley Sports Center on the Alaska Pacific University campus will host an event with the theme “Honoring Our Ways of Life: Celebrating Who We Are.” Doors open at 11 a.m. and a buffet lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. There will be performances from Alaska Native Cultural Charter School students and other groups, and closing remarks are set for 2 p.m.

Speakers include APU President Janelle Vanasse, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson and Curtis McQueen, a former CEO of the Native Village of Eklutna.

The event can also be streamed on the event’s Facebook page.

At Potter Marsh in South Anchorage, an Indigenous Peoples Day Hkaditali Ceremony will celebrate the installment of the third of 32 Dena’ina place name signs. The event runs from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday.

The Hkaditali sign features artwork by Athabascan and Paiute artist Melissa Shaginoff. The word Hkaditali means “drift lumber.” Speakers include Aaron Leggett, Native Village of Eklutna president/Anchorage Museum senior curator of Alaska history and Indigenous cultures, Mayor Bronson and Anchorage Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance.

On the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, the UAA Residence Life Community and Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program will come together to host a celebration that includes Alaska Native drumming and dancing by Acilquq, prizes and a potluck.


The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and will also serve as a fundraiser for the Western Alaska Disaster Recovery Fund.

Other cities in Alaska will host celebrations as well.

In Sitka, the UAS Sitka campus will host a celebration from 5 to 8 p.m. themed “Our Journey Forward,” which includes a keynote address from Alaska’s U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola. In Juneau, a panel discussion covering the future of the Lingít, X̱aad Kíl and Smʼalgya̱x languages will take place at 3 p.m. hosted at UAS. A film on the history and future of Indigenous programs will follow at 4 p.m.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is hosting a number of events at its campuses statewide, including in Bethel, Nome and Fairbanks.

If there’s an Indigenous Peoples Day event in Alaska that you’d like to see added to this article, please email the details to