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City of Yellowknife: NAKA Festival Reaches for The Stars

Press Release

February 11, 2020

The City of Yellowknife (the City), together with Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN), the North Slave Metis Alliance, the Government of the Northwest Territories, Indigenous Tourism, and Northwest Territories Tourism are pleased to announce the second annual Naka Festival – a celebration of the aurora borealis and northern culture, from March 2-7, 2020.

The Naka festival, pronounced Na-ke – Wii`lii`deh for “Northern Lights”, is a week-long event packed with experiences from across the north and northern skies. Highlights of the week include Taste of the North – a culinary event at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, and the 2nd Annual Indigenous Cultural Gala, proudly hosted by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, at the Chief Drygeese Centre in Dettah.

“We’re thrilled to once again be partnering with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and other partners in the North, to celebrate the 2nd annual Naka Festival,” said Mayor Alty. “I am particularly looking forward to the return of the fabulous Cultural Gala, an incredible celebration of the rich northern culture, which will take place in Dettah.”

Added to the week’s agenda this year is a unique opportunity to learn about Northern Dene Astronomy from Ph.D. candidate Chris Cannon. Cannon will share his extensive knowledge, gained from a decade of learning from Dene traditional knowledge bearers from 12 distinct language areas across Alaska and Canada. There will be two discussions and an evening star gazing session on Friday, March 6.

For more information and the complete schedule, visit


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