David Kingeistí Katzeek, a Tlingit elder who helps with Tlingit Culture, Language and Literacy program, speaks during a program open house, Monday, April 22, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

Traditional memorial ceremony to be held virtually

It will be livestreamed and open to the public.

Sealaska Heritage Institute plans to hold a first-of-its-kind virtual memorial ceremony for a late Tlingit clan leader, beloved elder and educator.

Kingeisti David Katzeek, 77, passed away on Oct. 28. A virtual, traditional memorial ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday for the Shangukeidí Clan leader, SHI announced.

[Clan leader and Tlingit language education pioneer has died]

The events is the first time a traditional memorial ceremony will be held virtually. It is being held virtually to keep clan leaders, family members and well-wisher safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to SHI. It will be livestreamed on SHI’s YouTube channel,https://www.youtube.com/c/SealaskaHeritageInstitute, and it will be open to the public.

“We know that many of our people are grieving over this great loss, but we also recognized that we need to protect each other and make sure we stay healthy. We also wanted to honor Kingeisti in our traditional way,” said SHI President Rosita Worl, in a news release.

Katzeek was the founding president of Sealaska Heritage, a traditional scholar and a former member of the Sealaska board of directors, according to SHI. He was extremely active in language revitalization efforts and taughts language, stories and children.

• Contact the Juneau Empire newsroom at (907)308-4895.

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