More than 700 CIRI shareholders, guests, vendors and staff members gathered at Begich Middle School to celebrate the 24th annual Anchorage Friendship Potlatch on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008. The annual event is co-hosted by CIRI and The CIRI Foundation and featured a potlatch feast of roast moose, moose and salmon peroke, baked salmon and other traditional foods.
There was a potlatch market that featured 19 artists selling a variety of Alaska Native arts and crafts, plus information booths for many CIRI-related nonprofit service providers including the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Alaska Native Justice Center, The CIRI Foundation, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Koahnic Broadcast Corp. and Southcentral Foundation. CIRI Alaska Tourism Corp. also participated.
Activities included a traditional Athabascan cloth ceremony commemorating CIRI shareholders and their family members and friends who died during the past year. And there were performances by CIRI shareholder and juggler Jim Kerr, the Cupiit Yuratet dancers, kids’ activities and loads of door prizes.
CIRI and The CIRI Foundation co-host friendship potlatches every year in Kenai, Anchorage and the (Pacific) Northwest. This year’s Kenai Potlatch was on held at Kenai Middle School on Sept. 13 and was attended by about 150 people, including 79 shareholders and 51 guests. The Anchorage event was attended by 320 shareholders and 328 guests.