Adäka Cultural Festival

Wednesday, June 29 until Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The Adäka Cultural Festival is delighted to return from June 29 to July 5, 2022 for its 10th anniversary with the theme, ‘Northern Connections’.

An incredible celebration of Indigenous arts and culture rises up each summer along the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse, Yukon on the self-governed lands of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.

“Adäka” means coming into the light in Southern Tutchone—one of eight Yukon First Nations languages. The Adäka Cultural Festival shines a bright light on the strength, culture and courage of Indigenous peoples in the North.

In 2022, immediately following the Arctic Arts Summit, the 10th Adäka festival begins. Over 200 Indigenous performing and visual artists from across northern Canada and the circumpolar region share stellar programming with local, national and international audiences.

The road to Adäka is a story decades in the making. In the early 1990s, Yukon First Nations (YFN) Elders sparked conversations around the need for cultural reclamation and revitalization alongside the land claim negotiations underway. Nearly 20 years later, the seeds of Adäka were planted with the YFN 2010 presentation at the Vancouver Olympics. A year later, Adäka was born, with over 100 visual and performing artists participating—and an audience of 2,000. Every festival since has showcased emerging and established artists from each of the 14 YFNs and beyond, while providing important training and mentorship opportunities for emerging artists.

By Christine Prescott and Patti Flather

Large group of dancers performing on stage at a festival.
The Dakhká Khwáan Dancers perform at the 2019 Adäka Cultural Festival. COURTESY ADÄKA CULTURAL FESTIVAL / PHOTO BY ALISTAIR MAITLAND PHOTOGRAPHY
Logo for the Adäka Cultural Festival
Dakhká Khawáan Dancers performing at the 2019 Adäka Cultural Festival
The Dakhká Khwáan Dancers perform at the 2019 Adäka Cultural Festival. PHOTO ALISTAIR MAITLAND PHOTOGRAPHY.
co-founder of Adäka Cultural Festival, Katie Johnson

“In Adäka’s 10th year we honour our resiliency, emerging from the pandemic and creating space to come into the light again. This is an amazing opportunity to share the diversity of who we are as Yukon First Nations people, the pride our artists carry, and the responsibility we hold for future generations and our lands and waters— as we deepen our connections across the circumpolar world.”

-Katie Johnson, Adäka Co-founder