In Alaska, shared bonds are celebrated with a welcoming feast for Hokulea’s crew
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When the Hokulea arrived in Yakutat, Alaska for its “heritage sail,” food brought people together at community celebrations.
The gatherings also highlighted how Alaska Natives, just like Native Hawaiians, have a deep bond with the ocean.
The celebration and feast to welcome the crew of the Hokulea to Yakutat included fish served in so many ways: There was fish spread, smoked salmon, salmon sushi, herring eggs, smoked oysters cream cheese and more.
“Sushi is really good. The salmon is really good, too,” said Hokulea crew member Keala Kimura.
Yakutat, an isolated town in southeast Alaska, is a place where people still fish, hunt, and gather food for their family and community.
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“The salmon up here, nothing in comparison,” said Hokulea crew member Jonah Apo.
Gloria Wolfe is the Yakutat Mount Saint Elias Dance leader.
During the dinner celebration, the group shared many of their cultural dances and songs.
“Yakutat is a unique blend: Tlingit, Athabaskans and Eyak. We are not just Tlingit people so some of our protocols are unique,” said Wolfe.
“The ways that we know how to welcome people ashore are things that only we know in Yakutat,” she added.
Also in this series:
- Hokulea’s crew jumps into chilly Alaskan waters to go ... (what else?) surfing
- Far from home, Hokulea takes ‘heritage sail’ to honor a precious gift from years ago
- Hokulea’s arrival allows Alaska Natives to practice protocol not seen in more than a century
- An icy sail for Hokulea as voyaging canoe makes history with Hubbard Glacier visit
Her two boys are a unique blend themselves of Tlingit, Haida, and Hawaiian.
“We love who we are and we love to share who we are with everybody,” said Wolfe.
When Hokulea, arrived on shore at Yakutat, it was the first voyaging canoe landing there in more than 100 years.
“When the Hokulea was able to come to our shores, we were able to practice those ancient and cultural protocols to our our babies,” said Wolfe.
“That is why Yakutat story is so important to help us as Native people around the planet to be able to change the way we see the world,” said Nainoa Thompson, Polynesian Voyaging Society President and pwo (master) navigator.
Thompson added Hokulea’s next great journey, circumnavigating the Pacific, is about reclaiming the cultures and traditions of our island earth. “We must come together as ocean people,” he said.
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