Native Village of Eklutna celebration

by Peter Twitchell

The Native Village of Eklutna celebrated its Biennial Dena’ina Athabascan Potlatch/Powwow July 28-29, 2018.
As I shared in the Athabascan cultural event, it became a personal moment for me. My uncles Timothy and Benjamin Twitchell were students and educators in the 1940s and 50s. My uncle Tim became one of the first to graduate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He taught school at Eklutna and often shared his stories with me.
Uncle Ben also taught students in Oregon State.
At the Powwow I met people from as far away as Utqiagvik, the southeast, the Nome region, Kuskokwim and Yukon regions, and others representing the Native people from points in between and beyond.
It was a good time for all – dancing, singing, drumming, and sharing stories. There was native foods, and boys and girls being inspired in the cultural gathering by their elders and mentors.
The young men and women of the military academy had their presence throughout the 2 day event helping serve food, coffee, water and assistance.
They all looked sharp in their uniforms!
Saturday was Ted Stevens Day in recognition for all he did for the Native Village of Eklutna, and in my heart I felt the presence of my Uncle Tim.
Thank you NVE, and the Native Community of Alaska, we really can live in harmony with high regard for each other. Good time was had by all present! I am already looking forward to the next gathering of our native tribes at the traditional site of the Native Village of Eklutna! Quyana.