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Alaska Tlingits hold memorial ceremony online amid pandemic

By MARK THIESSEN Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — When tribal elder David Katzeek died in October, Tlingit leaders in Alaska scrambled to find a way to hold a traditional memorial ceremony during a pandemic. Their task was to balance honoring him with protecting the living from the coronavirus. The Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau has been transforming its in-person programming to virtual events, and figured this was the next step in helping preserve Tlingit culture. The institute hosted a Zoom memorial gathering and livestreamed it online. The experience was such a success, it’s now the basis for guides being written for others to use technology to conduct ancient rites safely amid the pandemic.


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