Riding the wave of sobriety

NVE’s sobriety celebration kicks off Thursday in Cordova

Members of the Kodiak Alutiiq Dancers practiced their songs in the hallway in the Cordova High School, before the grand entrance in the gymnasium on Nov. 12, during NVE’s 23rd Annual Sobriety Celebration and Memorial Potlatch. Photo by Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times

Native Village of Eyak’s 24th Annual Sobriety Celebration begins this weekend. This year’s theme is “Riding the qailiq/wave of sobriety.” Most events for the three-day celebration take place at the Cordova High School gym.

Click to download NVE’s PDF schedule here!

The celebration kicks off Friday morning when the Ke ex’ Kwaan Dancers of Kake are scheduled to perform at 9 a.m. Mt. Eccles Elementary School Gym and then again at 10 a.m. at the Cordova High School Gym, according to a schedule released by NVE.

Dance groups performing during this year’s celebration include Ke ex’ Kwaan Dancers from Kake, Yees Ku Oo Dance Group from Juneau, Cordova Ikumat Native Dancers from Cordova, Mt. St. Ellias Dancers from Yakutat, and Kodiak Alutiiq Dancers from Kodiak.

Community events begin at 6 p.m. Friday with a welcome dinner for out of town guests at the Cordova High School cafeteria, followed by a video presentation from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and her rural outreach coordinator, Deborah Vo; a candlelight vigil and celebration of the Native dance groups performing this weekend.

Saturday begins with a homemade biscuits and gravy with reindeer sausage and eggs breakfast from 8-11 a.m. at The Cordova Center. A silent auction, and arts and crafts fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cordova High School.

Opening ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. Bob Benard will give a keynote address at 12:55 p.m. Saturday. Other guest speakers include Cordova Mayor Clay Koplin, Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak; Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kotzebue; Roald Helgesen, chief executive officer of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium; and many others.

The day concludes with a traditional subsistence potlatch dinner begins at 6:40 p.m. at CHS followed by a community square dance at Pioneer Igloo.

A farewell brunch will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday at Masonic Hall.

Full schedule for Native Village of Eyak’s 24th Annual Sobriety Celebration

Thursday, Nov. 9

Noon: Dance groups begin to arrive at airport and ferry terminal.

6 p.m.: Dinner for early arrivals – on your own.

Friday, Nov. 10

9-9:30 a.m.: Ke ex’ Kwaan Dancers from Kake perform at Mt. Eccles gym.

10-10:30 a.m.: Ke ex’ Kwaan Dancers from Kake perform at Cordova High School gym.

6-7 p.m.: Welcome dinner for out of town guests at the CHS cafeteria

7 p.m.: 12-Step AA Meeting at St. Joseph’s Church Basement

7 p.m.: Deborah Vo/Senator Murkowski video in Cordova High School gym.

7:30 p.m.: Carol Cousins at CHS gym.

8 p.m.: Candlelight vigil led by Mike Jackson, Ruth Demmert and Belen Cook at CHS gym.

8:30 p.m.: Celebration of Native dance welcoming Native dancers with all dance groups at the CHS gym.

Saturday, Nov. 11

8-11 a.m.: Close-up fundraising breakfast of homemade biscuits and gravy with reindeer sausage and eggs at the Cordova Center.

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Silent Auction begins at the CHS gym. Winners will be announced at dinner.

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Arts and crafts and food fair in CHS hallways and commons.

10 a.m.: Opening ceremonies in CHS gym. Call to order by Robert Henrichs. Posting of the colors by the Boy Scouts. Invocation by Father Tom Killeen. Grand entrance with all dance groups. Address to 24th Annual Sobriety Celebration Participants by Cordova Mayor Clay Koplin. Sobriety event introduction of NVE Tribal Council, sobriety committee and supporters by Belen Cook

10:30 a.m.: Guest speaker Rep. Louise Stutes at CHS gym.

10:45 a.m.: Sobriety logo contest winner Brittany Banks announced by Belen Cook at CHS gym.

11 a.m.: Honoring Veterans ceremony with Wendy Ranney and Valerie Simnon at the CHS gym.

11:30 a.m.: Guest speaker Verne Boerner at CHS gym.

11:40 a.m.: Guest speaker Rep. Dean Westlake, District 40, at CHS gym.

11:55 a.m.: Yees Ku Oo Dance Group from Juneau at CHS gym.

12:15 p.m.: Guest speaker Wilson Justin at CHS gym.

12:35 p.m.: Cordova Ikumat Native Dancers of Cordova at CHS gym.

12:55 p.m.: Keynote speaker Bob Bernard at CHS gym.

1:15 p.m.: Ke ex’ Kwaan Dancers from Kake at CHS gym.

1:45 a.m.: Guest speaker Arnold Brower at CHS gym.

2:05 p.m.: Mt. St. Ellias Dancers from Yakutat at CHS gym.

2:25 p.m.: Guest speaker Mike Jackson at CHS gym.

2:55 a.m.: Guest speaker Tara Risinger, special assistant to Congressman Don Young at CHS gym.

3 p.m.: Elder to Elder Gathering at CHS Room 2.

Elder to Elder Gathering

3:05 p.m.: Guest speaker Arnold Olsen at CHS gym.

3:20 p.m.: Guest speaker Roald Helgesen, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium chief executive officer and hospital administrator, presents at CHS gym.

3:45 a.m.: Guest speaker Brandon Johnson at CHS gym.

4 p.m.: Kodiak Alutiiq Dancers from Kodiak at CHS gym.

4 p.m.: Silent auction closes.

4:20 p.m.: Guest speaker Wilbur Brown, 6th Vice President Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska at CHS gym.

4:40 p.m.: Guest speaker Lincoln Bean at CHS gym.

5 p.m.: Sobriety countdown with Dr. Brian Iutzi, MD at CHS gym.

5:40 p.m.: Closing address with Robert Henrichs at CHS gym.

6 p.m.: Grand exit with all dance groups at CHS gym.

6:10 p.m.: Break for dinner preparation and set-up – volunteers are welcome at CHS gym.

6:40 p.m.: Community Traditional Subsistence Potlatch Dinner at CHS gym.

7 p.m.: Open time for informal visiting and sharing at CHS gym.

8- 11:30 p.m.: Sobriety Community Square Dance at Pioneer Igloo.

Sunday, Nov. 12

9 a.m.-noon: Farewell brunch at Masonic Hall.

Click to download NVE’s PDF schedule here!