The fourth annual traditional Food Fair with Hoonah Indian Association and Huna Heritage Foundation was an astounding success.
Before we relive the event we want to thank everyone involved in making the day “one for the books”. Thank you to the sponsors for their support and donations! We would love to recognize Hoonah Indian Association, Huna Heritage Foundation, Icy Strait Point, The Shops by HTA, Tideline Tackle, and Hoonah Trading.
The event took place on September 11th, 2021 and started off at 11:00am with a memorial service to those lost in 9/11. Hoonah’s local color guard begun the event and all stood with our veterans, police, EMT, and firefighters. Ian Johnson sang the National Anthem and words of remembrance were spoken by Paul Commolli, Amelia Wilson, and Ian Johnson.
Although the fall weather was chilly with constant showers all morning, the Traditional Food Fair brought together around 80 Hoonah residents with warm halibut chowder, fresh greens from the MOBY greenhouse, and the highly sought after fry bread. There were an array of door prizes awarded via raffle, ranging from cooking kits to money.
The Traditional Food Fair was founded to share local foods harvested from our home in the Tongass National Forest and shared with the local community. The 2021 Alaskan Youth Stewards crew harvested and processed fireweed, beach asparagus, blueberries, and halibut. Due to the hard work of Arianna Lapke, Ted Elliot, Susan Bradford, Kelly St. Claire, Leif Gray and others from Hoonah Indian Association and Huna Heritage Foundation, 72 pint jars of beach asparagus, 72 quarter pints of fireweed jam, 35 quarter pints of blueberry jam, and 18 pints of halibut were dispersed among Hoonah elders and families. The AYS crew also played a part in the fresh greens served as the salad by watering the produce throughout the summer season. The vegetables were made possible by the hard work of Mark Browning tending to the greenhouse during its stay in Hoonah.
Halibut chowder, fry bread, and salad were the center of attention, as community members had the option to sit and socialize with neighbors and/ or take food to-go. In addition to the hearty meal there was a fun cake walk, filled with kids and adults all competing for cupcakes and brownies. It was hours filled with good food, connections, soft live music, and recognition of the strength of the Hoonah community coming together.