Full schedule of events planned to mark Founder’s Day in Metlakatla on Sunday

Former Mayor Audrey Hudson throws candy at the 2014 Founder’s Day Parade.

Every year on August 7, Metlakatla comes together to recognize Founder’s Day in a celebration that includes games, shopping, food, and fireworks. Metlakatla Mayor Albert Smith said the founder they are celebrating is an English missionary named William Duncan.

He was a missionary who helped lead the tribe from Metlakatla, BC,” Smith said.

At the time, this tribe included some 800 Tsimshian people who followed Duncan on a canoe trip of about 70 miles through the Dixon Entrance from what is now British Columbia to start a new life in what they called New Metlakatla.

And in the 1886 census, the community ranked fourth in Alaska, with 823 residents — Juneau-Douglas was listed as the largest, with 1,623 residents, according to SitNews.

And this year’s celebration is just days away.

The festivities kick off at 8:45 a.m. Sunday, when runners line up in the council chambers for a run around Annette Island – two miles for female runners and three and a half miles for male runners. Parade queue is at 10 a.m., followed by judging at 10:30 a.m. and parade at 11 a.m.

There is a picnic from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Metlakatla Longhouse. Field events are set for after. Games include a watermelon eating contest, seated balloon pop, dance contest, tug of war, kayak races and more. There’s also the slow bike race, where the last person to cross the finish line while still standing wins.

A fireworks display will crown the festivities at 11 p.m.

Smith said it was a return to normal for the community after local authorities canceled regular festivities last year during a spike in COVID-19 cases.

In May last year, then-Mayor Reginald Atkinson issued a statement warning all residents to stay home or face possible emergency eviction from the reservation. There were deaths from COVID-19 in the community last summer, and Metlakatla ended August at the peak of its COVID-19 alert levels and without traditional Founder’s Day celebrations. .

“I think everyone is excited to have our traditional Founders Day celebration this year,” Smith said.

You can find more information about the celebration on the Metlakatla Indian Community Facebook page.

Maria R. Newman