Image
Dancers at the Alaska Native Heritage Center

Alaska Native Festivals & Events

FEBRUARY­­­

Elizabeth Peratrovich Day 
Elizabeth Peratrovich (Tlingit) was an American civil rights activist who worked for equality on behalf of Alaska Natives and other marginalized groups in Alaska.

Séet Ká Festival | Petersburg
An Indigenous festival dedicated to cultural awareness, cultural revitalization, and uplifting the Indigenous people of Séet Ká Kwáan. 

Fur Rendezvous | Anchorage
The Fur Rendezvous winter festival – known locally as “Fur Rondy” – is a multi-week affair featuring local artisans, furs, carnival games and rides, sports tournaments, and even a snow sculpture contest. 

Kivgiq—Messenger Feast | Anchorage
Every two years, residents across the region gather for the Kivgiq, or Messenger Feast. This multiple-day celebration, usually in early February, includes traditional dancing and is an important part of the culture.

A woman views the Elizabeth Peratrovich mural in Anchorage
Elizabeth Peratrovich mural in Anchorage

MARCH

Fur Rondy Charlette Jensen Artist Market | Anchorage
This is a rare opportunity to meet and greet Alaska Native artisans selling and demonstrating their traditional art forms. 

Iditarod Sled Dog Race & Art Show | Anchorage
The annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is a long-distance sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome. Catch the Iditarod Art Show the same week! 

ASAA March Madness Alaska | Anchorage
The statewide high school basketball tournament.

Festival of Native Arts | Fairbanks
The Festival of Native Arts provides cultural education and sharing through traditional Native dance, music, and arts.

Cama-i Dance Festival | Bethel
The Yukon Delta is the region’s premier culture and arts performance event. 

Alaska Native Dancing at the Festival of Native Arts in Fairbanks
Festival of Native Arts in Fairbanks, Photo Credit: Design Pics Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

APRIL

Northern Regional Traditional Games | Juneau
Middle school and high school student athletes compete in in traditional games such as kneel jump, wrist carry, and Alaskan high kick.

Native Youth Olympics (NYO) | Anchorage
Starting in 1972, the NYO Games includes ten events based on games past generations of Alaska Native people played to test their survival skills. 

World Heritage Day
The day focuses on recognizing the value of cultural heritage in our lives and raises awareness about the diversity and vulnerability of cultural heritage.

JUNE

Urban Unangax̂ Culture Camp | Anchorage
People­­­ of all ages learn about the Unangax̂ culture through hands-on cultural activities and fellowship with the Unangax̂ community. Traditional Unangax̂ practices are integrated to fit into our urban lifestyle, culturally enriching the lives of those who participate. 

Celebration | Juneau
Every other year, the streets of Juneau fill with Alaska Native people from throughout Southeast Alaska and beyond. There is traditional song and dance, arts and crafts, food, and people speaking local Native languages. 

Nalukataq—Spring Whaling Celebration | Utqiaġvik
The Iñupiat celebration, Nalukataq, is held after the spring whale-hunting season. There are traditional songs and dances, including a blanket toss. 

Qatnut Arctic Trade Fair | Kotzebue
The biennial celebration consists of several traditional events including dancing, cloth & fur sewing competition, games, arts & crafts competition, traditional foods competition, and other exciting traditional activities.

A woman watches the Celebration festival in Juneau
Celebration Festival in Juneau

JULY

Midnight Sun Intertribal Powwow | Fairbanks
Alaska Native artists gather together to celebrate community and give thanks through traditional drums, song, and dance. 

World Eskimo Indian Olympics (WEIO) | Fairbanks
The WEIO games display the preparedness one needed for survival. They require skill as well as strength, agility, and endurance. In this manner, the people of northeast Alaska teach their children that they had to be tough to make it on their own, not just in one area, but in all. The games left no part of the body untested. 

July Culture Camps | Statewide
Hughes Tribal Council Culture Camp | Hughes
BBNC Culture Camp | Lake Iliamna
Camp Qungaayux | Humpy Cove
Qagan Tayagungin Tribe Culture Camp | Sand Point
Nucciq Spirit Camp | Nuchek Village Site
Dig Afognak Cultural Camp | Afognak

World Eskimo Indian Olympics
World Eskimo Indian Olympics

AUGUST

Founder’s Day | Metlakatla
Nearly 130 years ago, a group of 826 Tsimshian people from British Columbia crossed the Canadian border to Annette Island. Now Annette Islands Reserve is Alaska’s only Indian reservation, and, since that day in 1887, the Metlakatla Indian Community has celebrated its unique founding story. 

The Gathering Place at the State Fair | Palmer
The fair dedicates a 3-acre area to Alaska Natives, featuring eight small buildings for vendors, a stage, and picnic tables. Entertainment in past years has included musicians, traditional dancers, athletes, and storytellers as well as a blanket toss. 

Alaska State Fair
Alaska State Fair

OCTOBER

Indigenous Peoples Day | Statewide
This day honors the past, present, and futures of Native peoples throughout the U.S. The holiday recognizes the legacy and impact of colonialism on Native communities, and it also celebrates the cultures, contributions, and resilience of contemporary Native peoples.

Alaska Day | Statewide
Celebrate the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from the Russian Empire to the United States.

Elders & Youth Convention | Anchorage and Fairbanks
Today, more than 1,000 participants from rural and urban Alaska gather each year to develop leadership in our Alaska Native youth, strengthened with the experience and wisdom of our Alaska Native Elders. 

Quyana Alaska | Anchorage and Fairbanks
‘Quyana’ means ‘thank you’ in Yup’ik. Through the years, this cultural celebration put on by the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) has helped restore traditional dances and ensure they are passed onto future generations. 

NOVEMBER

Alaska Native Heritage Month | Statewide
This month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Alaska Native People.

DECEMBER

ANHC Christmas Bazaar | Anchorage
Join the Alaska Native Heritage Center as they celebrate the Christmas season with dancing, art, and more!  

A Yup'ik woman dances at Alaska Native Heritage Center
Alaska Native Heritage Center, Photo Credit: David Sanger Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Learn more about Alaska Native Culture >>

Share