"The culture was slumping off and dying off. The new generations weren't learning the language or any of the customs," said Donald Gregory, assistant at Sealaska Heritage Institute, which holds the event. "In the beginning there were hardly any groups, but it's really grown. The vision of the elders, who are mostly gone now, came true."
With events such as a black seaweed contest, baby regalia review and a canoe race, the three-event will have something for everyone. Celebration coordinator Bob Hamilton said the primary focus of the event is the dance groups.
"It takes a lot of work to put this event on and for the groups to get here," Hamilton said. "The culture is having a renaissance coming back, and it's kept rolling. To learn from those who speak the language is a race against time, and it still is."
Cost of the event is $25 for the three days or $10 a day. One ticket gains access to events in Centennial Hall and the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.