Indigenous People's Day Celebrated at University of Alaska Fairbanks

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The University of Alaska Fairbanks celebrated its third annual Indigenous Peoples Day with a community celebration on the campus.

The festivities kicked off with a blessing at Troth Yeddha’ Park, named for the ridge on which the Fairbanks campus sits and the future site of an indigenous studies center. (Carly Sjordal/KTVF)

UAF’s Indigenous Peoples Day celebration included a day of free public events that honor Alaska Native peoples, cultures and indigenous knowledge. The year’s theme was “Resiliency: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” and focused on the past, present and future from an indigenous perspective. The festivities kicked off at 10:30 a.m. with a blessing at Troth Yeddha’ Park, named for the ridge on which the Fairbanks campus sits and the future site of an indigenous studies center.

Evon Peter, the Vice Chancellor of rural studies at UAF explained why this day holds such importance.

"Indigenous Peoples Day is also about reshaping the narrative about indigenous peoples, so really, coming from our own perspectives, world views and knowledge, and sharing that with others. They are so rich and so important broadly within humanity, we are facing some very significant challenges. A lot of them have to do with how we relate to each other as human beings. How we relate to the land and the environment around us, and there’s a tremendous amount of knowledge in indigenous communities that I think are important for us to uplift and shed a light on," said Evon.

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