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Alaska celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day

This year’s celebration was held online because of the coronavirus pandemic
Woosh.ji.een, a Tlingit dance group from Juneau, performs at a virtual celebration for...
Woosh.ji.een, a Tlingit dance group from Juneau, performs at a virtual celebration for Indigenous Peoples' Day.(Alaska Pacific University)
Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 6:40 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - People around Alaska celebrated the Indigenous cultures that make up the state.

In 2017, former Gov. Bill Walker signed legislation replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

This year’s celebration was held online due to COVID-19.

Alaska Pacific University President Valerie Davidson talked about how important the tribal college is to help students pursuing higher learning stay connected with their heritage.

“Here at APU we believe you should bring all of the aspects and parts of who you are as a person to your work, to your learning and your education,” Davidson said.

Kelsey Wallace, the communications director for Native Peoples Action, encouraged people to turn out in full force at the polls in November.

“As Alaska Native people, tribal communities and our ancestors have done for generations before us, one of our values is to take care of one another and the way we take care of one another right now is by showing up to vote our values in the November elections,” Wallace said.

The virtual event included a Tlingit dance performance from Juneau’s Woosh.ji.een Dance Group.

Martin Paul, a 17-year-old from Kalskag, sent in a pre-recorded performance of an original song called “Village Life.”

The celebration ended with a song from Stephen Blanchett with a slide show of people from around the state showing off their Native regalia, sports and Pilot Bread.

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