Monday is Indigenous Peoples Day, a holiday recognized each October that celebrates Native people and cultures and draws awareness of the lasting effects of colonialism. Several organizations are hosting events and celebrations around Southcentral Alaska in the coming days.
In Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University is partnering with the Alaska Native Heritage Center and other organizations to host a free community event Monday at the Moseley Sports Center, on APU’s campus. Doors open at 11 a.m. and a buffet lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., with the program beginning at noon.
The event will feature performances from Bartlett High School’s Indigenous Leaders of Bartlett and dance group Aanchich’x Kwaan, and closing remarks are set for 2 p.m. Speakers include APU President Janelle Vanasse and Southcentral Foundation vice president Ileen Sylvester, with a special appearance by PBS’s Molly of Denali.
The event can also be streamed on its Facebook page.
On the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, the university’s residential life department is hosting an Indigenous Peoples Day potlatch from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at Gorsuch Commons, Room 107, with food, games, music and storytime. Before the potlatch, UAA’s Alaska Native Studies department is hosting a lecture by professor Maria Williams on the Tlingit clan system at Rasmuson Hall, Room 101.
UAA also hosts an Indigenous Peoples cooking and storytelling series that runs each Sunday through Dec. 10, from 5 to 11 p.m. at Gorsuch Commons, Room 104.
On Tuesday, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School is hosting a free celebration at its campus. There will be badminton, a cakewalk and cultural demonstrations on turning silverberry seeds into beads and making akutaq and salve.
Other cities in Alaska will host Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations as well. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is hosting a number of events at its campuses statewide, including in Bethel, Nome and Fairbanks.