Naka festival launches in Yellowknife

The week-long festival is a celebration of aurora and culture


The city’s newest festival kicked off at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre this afternoon.

Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo. The Dene Drummers opened Naka with a prayer song.

Yellowknifers and visitors alike packed into the lobby of the museum to mark the beginning of Naka, a week-long celebration of the aurora borealis and Dene culture.

Naka, pronounced nah-kah, is the Wiiliideh word for the Northern lights.

“Welcome to Chief Drygeese Territory,” said Ndilo Chief Ernest Betsina during the opening ceremonies.

“It’s good to see visitors from all over. Wherever you’re from, welcome to our traditional territory.”

The week’s events include aurora and outdoor photography workshops, an art workshop and a talk about the science of the northern lights.

Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo. The schedule of events for this week’s Naka festival.


Chief Betsina also encouraged everyone to attend the Indigenous Cultural Gala in Dettah on Friday, which will mark the end of the festival.

“In acknowledging and honouring Chief Drygeese Territory, I welcome you to the opening ceremonies of Naka,” said Yellowknife mayor Rebecca Alty.

The new festival is a partnership between the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN), the city of Yellowknife and the GNWT, said Alty.

“I look forward to seeing you again soon at the events through the week,” she said. “Mahsi.”

For more information about the festival visit the City of Yellowknife’s website.


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