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University Plans Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebration At The Bethel Cultural Center On Monday

The UAF Kuskokwim Campus Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center in Bethel, Alaska.
Dean Swope

The second Monday in October is Alaska’s first official Indigenous Peoples' Day, once celebrated as Columbus Day. The Bethel Cultural Center will be celebrating the first peoples of the YK Delta at 6 p.m. on Monday, October 9. The Kuskokwim Campus, along with all University of Alaska Fairbanks rural campuses, have planned a day packed with activities.


KuC Director Mary Pete says that the public portion of events will start at 6 p.m.


“With a welcome and blessing by AVCP President Vivian Korthuis and John McIntyre, who is a renowned artist and drummer,” said Pete.


Bethel Regional High School and other Lower Kuskokwim School District athletes are also planning Native Youth Olympic demonstrations.


“The KuC Yuyruk class, the Yup’ik dance class, is going to perform as well as a group of Chevak students. We have quite a number of Chevak students here this year,” said Pete.


Pete says that they look forward to celebrating the Day annually on campus.


The bill recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day was passed by the Alaska Legislature and signed into law this past June by Governor Bill Walker. Representative Zach Fansler is also looking forward to attending the event, as he was the first co-sponsor of the bill.


Refreshments will be served and the doors will open at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Cultural Center.