Tanana River Canoe Song | MOLLY OF DENALI


Hey, everyone! Molly here to answer your questions about life in Alaska. Jaden in Texas asks: Do kids in Alaska still sing traditional songs? We do! (drum beating) BOY 1: We’re learning the history of the Tanana River in Fairbanks, Alaska. We learned a traveling song. We listened to stories from our elders. We also looked at old pictures that were taken right here. It was fun to compare old pictures to the way it looks today. This river is special because you can go across the middle of Alaska using this river. We have been dancing about us traveling in a river with a canoe. (drum beating, people singing) GIRL 2: When I’m dancing the song, I actually feel like I’m canoeing upstream. (drumming and singing) Chief Matthew was the one that paddled up the river. My grandfather. He paddled and paddled, and he come to this camp. BOY 1: We looked at old photos and noticed the details about the past, just like Molly. What do you see in here? Looks like a camp with a canoe at the river, and tents and smokehouses. I experienced this. Mm-hmm. GIRL 1: I learned that our ancestors were on the river. BOY 1: We took old photographs and compared them to the way they look today. BOY 2: It matches almost exactly. But the picture might have not been taken in this basic spot. Probably not, because then, how would they have the houses in the background? It’s all water there. When I’m dancing, I feel like I’m with my ancestors. I feel energized and I feel happy, of course. When I look at these photographs, they connect me with my past. (drum beating, people singing) Mahsi’choo! Thanks for asking, and see you next time.

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