Video of 'Celebration 1986' now available online
Sealaska Heritage digitizing project continues
August 1, 2021 | View PDF
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has digitized and posted online video of its third Celebration, 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.
The entire event, which was documented in 1986 on now-obsolete video tapes, is viewable on SHI’s YouTube channel for the first time. Go to the link https://bit.ly/2WmPAl0.
Celebration 1986, held in Juneau November 20-22, featured dance performances from 19 different groups, speeches by prominent Elders and a Tlingit play.
“As we’ve digitized and uploaded this series, starting with Celebration 1982 in February of this year, you can see that the event continued to grow and develop as Native people formed new dance groups—which was itself a new concept, as traditionally only clans sang clan songs. You can witness the evolution and expansion of Celebration through these videos,” said SHI President Rosita Worl.
The videos are a resource for Native people studying dancing, oratory, Native languages and regalia and for scholars researching Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures, Worl said.
Comments on past Celebration releases also show that the videos have been a way for people to see family and clan members who are now passed.
The rest of SHI’s Celebration footage, up through Celebration 2016, will be posted online by 2022. Celebration 2018 was the first Celebration posted on YouTube in its entirety in 2019.
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Visit http://www.sealaskaheritage.org for more information.