Winners of soapberry contest, seaweed contest announced

Amber King, left, smells perserved soapberries as contestant Doris McLean of Whitehorse tastes her soapberry dessert during the Celebration 2012 Soapberry Contest held at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center on Thursday.

Two people have taken top prizes in traditional-food contests at Celebration 2012.


Rochelle Revey of Kake won first place in the biennial black seaweed contest. Doris McLean of Whitehorse, Yukon, took first place in the institute’s second soapberry contest.

Other winners of the soapberry contest were Fran Neumann of Whitehorse, Yukon, who took second place, and Evelyn Folbar, of Atlin, British Columbia, who took third place.

Ivan D. Williams of Angoon won second place in the seaweed contest, and Peggy Williams of Angoon won third place.

Soapberry contest judges were Ruth Demmert, Deborah Head and Betty Marvin. Seaweed judges were Pamlea Bogda and Emma Shorty. Names of contestants were kept secret from the judges prior to the judging. Video of the soapberry contest is available online.

The institute sponsors the contests to introduce young people to traditional Native foods and to highlight the health benefits of traditional Native cuisine.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.


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