By Sarah Aslam
Wrangell Sentinel 

Wrangell dancers will lead at Celebration next week


Sarah Aslam/Wrangell Sentinel

Tommy Rooney Jr., 48, displays the regalia beadwork he's been preparing for Celebration in Juneau, planned for June 8-11. Rooney Jr. said he learned to bead from his mom, Virginia Oliver, when he was in his 30s. "She got me to start making a pillow I made for my dad. It came natural to me," he said.

For the first time in four years, Celebration, one of the largest gatherings of Southeast Alaska Native peoples to celebrate their culture, will be held in person in Juneau from June 8-11.

The gathering, sponsored by Sealaska Heritage, drew about 5,000 people pre-COVID, including more than 2,000 dancers. The Wrangell tribe will lead the way next week.

Every Celebration features a lead dance group and this year it will be Shx'at Kwáan (People Near the Mainland) of Wrangell, Sealaska Heritage spokesperson Kathy Dye said Friday.

"They were chosen in 2018 for Celebration 2020. But COVID curta...

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