A bearded drag queen, with fake breasts, red wig, heavy dark eyeliner and a tight-fitting dress pranced on the stage as toddlers and youth watched on. It was part of a two-hour June 26 event hosted by the Alaska Native Heritage Center – its first foray into LGBTQ entertainment for children.

A man dressed as a drag queen dances and sings for young children at the Alaska Native Heritage Center on June 26.

The drag queen story hour stirred considerable controversy, as a group of local Alaska Natives organized a protest near the Heritage Center, pointing out that the event did not represent authentic Alaska Native culture, tradition or values.

“Drag Queens are targeting Alaskan Native children at ANHC with liberal sexual propaganda,” a notice for the protest stated. “Alaskan Native cultural and religious traditions are rooted in well-defined gender roles and family values. The Protect Our Children and Heritage Rally stands against contemporary colonial attempts to confuse and indoctrinate vulnerable Alaskan Native children away from their heritage and Elder teachings.”

Current leadership at the Heritage Center dismissed these concerns, claiming that teaching children they can choose their gender is part of the organization’s mission.

Several videos posted on YouTube show a middle-aged man serving as the MC of the event. He introduced himself simply as Russ, and told the children that they are all “two-spirited,” meaning they are neither male nor female, but along some vaguely-defined gender spectrum.

“Wherever you are from one half of your spirit to the other half of your spirit, that’s who you are in your identity, and you decide that okay?” Russ instructed the children. “So don’t forget that. We’re all two spirited. That’s what we call an individual who identifies as LGBT in our community – two spirited. It’s actually something that is quite normal for Native Alaskans.”

After reading a children’s book, Ivanna proceeded to perform a lip-synced dance in which he repeatedly lifted his dress.

Russ went on to assert that Native Alaskans have “never identified anyone as male or female,” a claim for which he provided no evidence.

“We don’t have any gender specificity in our original culture,” he alleged. “We never identified anyone as male or female … there is no definition in the true Native background.”

Following his introductory remarks, three drag queens read stories, danced and lip-synched pop songs for more than 70 attendees, children and adults included.

A drag queen performs for young children on June 26 at the Alaska Native Heritage Center outside of Anchorage.

The first performer was a man wearing heavy makeup, a knee-high dress with blond wig, sparkling crown and high heels. He went by the stage name “Ivanna Read,” but an earlier notice for the event identified the performer as “Ivanna Kishacok.”

After reading a children’s book, Ivanna proceeded to perform a lip-synced dance in which he repeatedly lifted his dress, flashing his undergarments to the young children watching and crawling along the steps of the stage.

Attendees then ate free pizza at the event which was underwritten, in part, by funds from the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services. All families that attended the event also received $50 gift cards.

The final performer was Golden Delicious, a mainstay performer in Anchorage’s gay bar scenes, and a LGBTQ political activist. The bearded man wore heavy makeup and dark eyeliner. His costume included fake breasts, a tight-fitting red dress and red wig.

“I am so honored to be asked to be invited to this event by Native Movement and Alaska Native Heritage Center,” he said. “It’s taken me far too long to come here and I can’t wait to come back again.”

Following the performance Heritage Center Executive Director Emily Edenshaw gave flowers to the three drag performers and praised their performance.

“I just want to start off by saying that this is our first [LGBTQ] PRIDE event at the Heritage Center,” she said. “Sometimes, our work is hard. So, we have to do it because it is hard.”

“Happy PRIDE,” she said. “Thank you again to our beautiful queens. Please reach out. This is your Heritage center,” she told attendees.

The Heritage Center was established 22 years ago by the Alaska Federation of Natives with the core mission to preserve and strengthen the “traditions, languages, and art of Alaska’s Native People.”

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Despite protest, sexualized drag queens dance for kids at Alaska Native Heritage Center

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • John J Otness says:


  • Sharon Turner says:

    So Alaska Native Heritage Center now the Center for Drag Queen Performers. Hope they can stay open with that line up of entertainment instead of the wonderful native histories retold, the skits, most specially dancers.. Because none of my people* local or out of state visitors will ever set foot on the premises. Good luck with your WOKE attendees.. see it their $$ patronage can sustain your original mission. Sad. Grandma

    • Jmk says:

      I agree with you. I am done recommending that place for friends and family. what surprises me is that they would do something so against the core values of the Native culture. What surprises me is that people allowed their toddler and young children to be exposed to such sexualized entertainment. So sad and honestly no impressed with that parenting.

      • Alaska Native says:

        Agree. I was taught that our culture doesn’t discriminate against gay people but I was never taught about Native drag shows. Inappropriate.

  • John J Otness says:


  • Sheb Garfield says:

    I’m confused as to why Christian values are being imposed on Alaskan natives, as their values?
    Many first nations tribes have always recognized more than 2 genders, now commonly regarded as two-spirits. It wasn’t until they were colonized only 2 genders, became imposed on them, by the same people who ran the boarding schools that killed their children, and destroyed their heritage.

    • Dino says:

      Oh yeah? So why were the 3 naked men dressed as women whites instead of native– if it is so common?

      • Sheb Garfield says:

        No one was naked, and not all of the Drag Queens were white. But way to assume my guy, maybe you should read the article before you comment.

      • Timothy Colbath says:

        Your saying that the natives think there are more than 2 God Given Genders? That’s the first I have heard of this.

      • Dino says:

        way to miss the point of the question. Typical socialist. Can’t answer the question so try to deflect. I’ll answer it for you; no natives danced and flashed their asses to kids because it is not in their culture. They couldn’t even find a native who would dare do it at THE NATIVE CENTER. That’s why.

    • Mongo Love Candy says:

      Being against grooming children for abuse by sexual predators is a “Christian” value? You’d think it was just a human value.

    • Alaska Native says:

      It’s less about Christian values and more about making sure our Heritage Center teaches actual Alaska Native traditions- and doesn’t appropriate other stuff like drag.

      • Elizabeth Henry says:

        Very true. This has nothing to do with native history or culture at all. It is infuriating.

    • Judy Eledge says:

      Sheb, I have many Native friends and worked in rural AK for many years. Do you have something to verify what you are saying? I don’t believe so. For your information many AK Natives are devoutly Christian and proud of it. Shame on you.

    • Judy Eledge says:

      Sheb, I have many Native friends and worked in rural AK for many years. Do you have something to verify what you are saying? I don’t believe so. For your information many AK Natives are devoutly Christian and proud of it. Of course there were gay people in all cultures. Doesn’t mean it was accepted. Shame on you.

  • Diane Cooper says:

    Because Sheb, Christian values are the only thing that is going to save our children. God only created man and women and no matter how many genders man makes up, there will always only be two genders. It is sad to see what some of the native people are choosing for their kids.

    • Sheb Garfield says:

      The same Christian values that took indigenous children from their families, and put them with white families, “to save them”?

      The same Christian values that protected pedophile preists in the church for the last few hundred years?

      The same Christian values, that are responsible for the hate in this article? And comments section?

      Where in the Bible did it saynit was a sin to be LGBTQ? Where did Jesus speak out against homosexuality?

      • Ivanna B.N. Zion says:

        Are you joking?

        First of all pedophilia is condemned in the Bible. The priests were not living a Christian lifestyle by any stretch. Since statistically the male priests perped on male adolescents they had way more in common with the LGBTQP+ community than they do with actual Christians.

        There are multiple verses in the Bible that condemn homosexuality, sex with animals, fornication, pedophilia, etc. You could easily look them up if you knew how to Google.

        You clearly have not read the Bible ever in your life though. Yes yes I’m sure you’ve read a few lines out of context here and there but you clearly have no clue what it means to be Christian. You are just repeating hateful stereotypes and platitudes that are simplistic and juvenile. So really you are the bigot and the hater. Maybe you should stop gaslighting people.

        Are you currently protesting Mt. Edgecomb?? That’s a modern day boarding school for native children. Or are you just concerned with wrongs that were perpetrated in the distant past like most globohomo comrades?

      • Judy Eledge says:

        Actually there are several places in the Bible. Please read Romans 1: 26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Timothy 1:9-10. In Leviticus 18:22 it states you shall not lie with a male as with a woman (the word homosexuality was not used during these times, but I think it is very clear). It further states it is an abomination.

  • Vonda Sanders says:

    Wow.. what is Alaska turning into. So sad…these poor children.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    So SICK, taking your little pure innocent child to a Sick thing like this.
    I’m calling it child abuse. Adult men showing there underwear to young kids.
    Those parents needs, there kids taken away from them. Plus these confused Blanks, need to go to Jail, for exposing themselves to under age kids
    Where’s the loving families Mom loves Dad, Dad loves Mom, End of Story
    It’s Sickening, discussing, men acting like women it must be horrible for these children.
    Remember God Created MAN and WOMEN End of Story
    Yes he created, all kinds of different people, Red, Yellow, Black, and White
    But only two genders Female/Women and Male/Men.
    STOP this Woke bull crap! You SICK people STOP

    • Carrie A. Gunn says:

      Someone should have reported all parents there to OCS for exposing children to pornographic content. However, I believe the government is complicit in this obvious child abuse so idk if the pedophiles running out government would give a crap about sex workers giving small children a live porno show.

    • John J Otness says:


  • Jen says:

    I am never going back to the Alaska Native Heritage Center just as the Loussac Library. Those places are way over the deep dark side for me now.

    I can only hope. The direction our community’s college Native graduates are going will bring more Native families back to faithfully attend a church and read the scriptures after realizing what happens when we worship ourselves over God.

  • Jen says:

    “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22

    Actually The whole chapter 18 is God explaining through Moses to the people what is not acceptable regarding sexual relationships. Cause the pagen nations including Egypt where the Isrealites just left were sexually immoral people, and Isreal was not to follow their neighbors practices.

    • Steve Peterson says:

      You are correct. And Paul dealt with it in Romans 1:24-27 as well.
      Jesus did not discuss perversion, but to those involved in sexual sin, he said, “Go and sin no more.”. Jesus loves all people where they are, but that doesn’t mean he wants us to stay that way. He calls us away from sin.
      As for Sheb’s observation about predatory religious people, Jesus dealt with that as well, saying, “it would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck and cast into the sea that to make one of these little ones stumble.”. There is hell waiting for them.
      My wife is full Yupik Eskimo. I asked her about this and she said that, while there were a few boys in her village, and other villages she knew about, who acted and dressed as girls, it was never treated as normal or accepted. It was tolerated to an extent but was not encouraged or given credence as socially acceptable. Boys and girls had distinct and separate roles in society. And, she added, drag queens would have been run out of the village.

      • Sheb Garfield says:

        For those who want to know indigenous words used for LGBTQ and two spirit people…(This is just the North American ones.)

        North America
        • Aakíí’skassi, Saahkómaapi’aakííkoan – Blackfoot
        • Agi – Chumash
        • Agokwa, Okitcitawe – Ojibwa
        • Akhnutchik, Shupan – Aleutian
        • Alyha, Hwame – Mohave
        • Anasik, aranu’tiq, uktasik – Yup’ik, (Chugach), (St. Lawrence Island)
        • Angutnguaq, Aranaruaq – (Kuskokwim River)
        • Asegi, nudale asgaya, nudale agehya – Cherokee
        • Athuth – Gros Ventre
        • Ayagigux’, Tayagigu’ – Aleut
        • Ayahkwêw, înahpîkasoht, Iskwêhkân, iskwêw ka napêwayat, napêhkân, napêw iskwêwisêhot – Cree
        • Badé – Crow
        • Biza’ah – Teotitlán
        • Bloka elga wa ke, Winkte – Lakota
        • Chelxodeleane, nok’olhanxodeleane – Ingalik
        • Cihuacoatl – Aztec
        • Coya – Salinan
        • Cuit, Uluqui – Luiseno, San Juan Capistrano Mountain
        • e L ha, War’hemeh – Cocopa, Yuman
        • Elxa’, kwe’rhame – Yuma
        • Gatxan – Tlingit
        • Geenumu gesallagee – Micmac
        • Guevedoche – Dominican Republic
        • Hatukiklanna, hatukholba – Chickasawa, Choctaw
        • Haxu’xan – Arapaho
        • He’eman, hetaneman – Cheyenne
        • Ho’va – Hopi
        • Ickoue ne kioussa, ikoueta – Illinois
        • I-coo-coo-a – SAuk, Fox
        • Ike’laskait – Wishram
        • Ikwekaazo, ininiikaazo – Ojibwe
        • Ilyaxai’, Kwiraxame – Maricopa
        • Iskwêw ka napêwayat, napêw iskwêwisêhot, ayahkwêw, înahpîkasoht, iskwêhkân, napêhkân – Cree
        • Katotse, Lha’mana – Zuni
        • Kok’we’ma – Acoma, Laguna
        • Kupatke’tek, titqattek – Kutenai
        • Ku’saat – Arikara, Pawnee
        • Kwido – Twewa
        • Kwit – Juaneno
        • Lhunide – Isleta Tiwa
        • Mahu – Kanaka Maoli
        • Ma’kali – Flathead
        • Miati – Hidatsa
        • Mihdacka – Mandan
        • Mixu’ga – Kansa, Omaha, Osage, Otoe, Ponca
        • M’netokwe – Potawatomi
        • Monaguia – Karankawa
        • Muxe/Muxhe – Zapotec
        • Nadleehi, Dilbaa – Navajo
        • Nde’isdzan – Apache
        • Ninauposkitzipxpe – Peigan
        • Nuwuducka, tainna wa’ippe – Nevada
        • Osabu – Miwok
        • Osa’pu – Nisenan
        • Shiange – Winnebago
        • Sipiniq – Inuit
        • Tai’up – Mono
        • Tubasa, tuva’sa, waipu sungwe – Shoshone, Bannock, Lemhi, (Promontory Point)
        • Tudayapi, Tuwasawuts – Paiute
        • Tuvasa – Gosiute
        • Tuwasawits – Ute
        • Twinna’ek – Klamath
        • Warharmi – Kamia, Kumyaay, Tipai
        • Wik’ovat – Papago, Pima
        • Winktan – Assiniboine, Dakota, Lakota
        • Xa’wisa – Takelma
        * Onón:wat- Mohawk(Iroquois)

      • Katrina says:

        Right, “North American,” not Alaska Natives.
        Why do you even follow the Watchman just to troll everyone on here. Get a life!

      • Sheb Garfield says:

        Did ya even read the list, there were Alaskan natives on it.

        Also Alaska is part of North America just saying.

      • Katrin says:

        Many natives that I’ve talked to hadn’t even heard of the term two-spirit.

        Two-spirit is an exception to the culture as opposed to the standards/traditions we live by and our grandparents and great-grandparents lived by.

      • John J Otness says:

        Shlub is just pushing nonsense …

      • Fire says:

        Your Ojibwe words are literally made up words by white university professors. Literally made up. Womanpretend, Manpretend. These are not words used in Ojibwe. The term “two spirit” was completely fabricated by university “anthropologists ” a couple of decades ago. YOU ARE LYING ABOUT MY CULTURE TO SEXUALLY ABUSE CHILDREN.

      • Steve Peterson says:

        You are very good at cutting and pasting, I’ll hand you that.
        This is politically correct based gobbledy-gook. Whoever put that list together was really digging hoping to support an agenda. Here’s the deal: aberrant behavior is always aberrant behavior regardless of the culture. Societies rely upon order, and division of labor, and marriage, and procreation. There has always been deviants, but, though they may have been tolerated in many societies, (I’m using the old meaning of tolerance, which is to put up with but not endorse), they were never the norm, or those cultures and societies would have died off quickly. Deviancy is always parasitic.

      • Mongo Likes Candy says:

        So the have words that can be translated to “Freak”, “Weirdo”, “Pervert” and “Deviant”. What does that prove?

      • Dino says:

        Spanish and German words have male and female tenses. Does that make them transgendered? All your words point to the same two souces: Wiktionary and a radical Leftist websites similar to Alaska Native Heritage. Got any native sources? No one denies that people caught between sexes exist. What did not exist in native culture is the leftist-inspired fad of “transgenderism” where bare assed men prance around dressed like women for no reason other than to shock people, offend nature and twist reality

      • Elizabeth Henry says:

        Yes even our native ancestors were deceived.

      • Trevor Rollman says:

        Well said Mr. Peterson

    • Elizabeth Henry says:

      It is very clear. Add also – Woe to those that call evil good and good evil. Isaiah 5:20
      It is tragic what is happening in our nation and communities. Praying for awakening, understanding and acceptance of truth and healing.

  • John says:

    Sick weirdos.

    Poor kids

  • Judith D. says:

    Absolutely disgusting. Anchorage is Babylon.

  • Mongo Love Candy says:

    It’s child abuse to allow Sexual Predators to groom the children. Parents who bring their children to this should be investigated by the State.

  • Katrina says:

    Thank you, Alaska Watchman for bringing light to this atrocity.
    We won’t allow this at our native heritage center. We will stand and do all we can to ensure this is the first and last drag queen event.

  • Theresa says:

    Why were the attendees given $50 gift cards? What were the gift cards for?

    If the event described here had happened one on one in a private residence, the adult responsible would’ve been hauled off to jail and charged with indecent exposure and sexual assault of a minor.

  • Ralph says:

    It is sad how many people mislabel Christians and what Christ did for us ALL.
    Your straw-man arguments have no effect on the informed… only the ignorant.
    So you can lie to yourself.. but you cannot convince someone of a lie whom already knows the truth.
    If you want to enable this deplorable, disgusting, vial, influence on innocent children.. you’ll see the world goes round while you complain about your self created misery.
    -God bless the Republic!

  • Fire says:

    I want to know if the other “funding” for this vileness came from Jeff Bezos ex wife Mackenzie Scott who just donated millions of dollars to the heritage center.

    • Priscilla Hurley says:

      You’ll likely find it. Follow the money, and you’ll find the real perpetrators of this destructive message.

  • Sharon Knowlton says:

    Two spirit!! One is an evil spirit.

  • Maurice N says:

    AK Heritage center why did you support this? Do you think that sexual crimes are not bad enough that you have to throw gas on the fire? Do you screen your participants for registered sex offenders and predators to turn them away? I’m sure they flock to these events. What of the mental health of these children? This is appalling, you know good and well a group of children did not petition the heritage center for such an event, this is generated by adults, adults with an agenda, a perverse agenda.

  • Carol Allums says:

    So, technically, this place is no longer the ‘Alaska Native Heritage Center’. So, maybe funding to this place needs to stop.

  • ASever says:

    Did you all not notice the end of the article? They PAID the families to attend. I wonder how many would have exposed their children for free? Sick, sad, and repulsive. Poor kids.

  • Km says:

    The fact that parents took “financial repayment” in the way of a gift card of $50
    Makes me believe
    That this was a paid for sexual act against children. And should fall under investigation by the State Troopers. Ps -parents who submitted
    Their children to this also approve of incest and pedophilia-which is the old traditional ways-thank you for
    Confirming that

  • Tara Skannes says:

    I guess in my experience the Tlingit/Haida culture was a matriarchal society and the children would follow their mother to be either an Eagle or a Raven. Then when you marry, you would have to marry someone of the opposite sex in the opposite clan. This insures that relatives don’t intermarry. If you had two fathers or mothers, it would be hard to decide what to follow, everything had an implicit goal!!!

  • Edna Huwe says:

    Wonder how many tourists attended the drag event? So embarrassing to think our Heritage center could stoop so low! I won’t be going there again!

  • Rose Stasco says:

    Wow…….never thought I’d see drag queens performing for children at the Heritage Center…..I for one disapprove of this performance and question the judgement of the people who scheduled it. It has no relevance to Alaska Native/American Indian heritage that I can ascertain……especially in that context. If my child or grandchild was exposed to that, I would withdraw him/her from that program.

  • Alaska Rotties says:

    I will never step foot in that place as long as I live! I am totally disgusted by the whole charade! And bribery, omg shameful! If that’s their choice, fine but keep it private, don’t push it on the rest of us and especially young children! And shame on the parents for taking their children to this sick freak show that our tax money funded! Disgusting!

  • John J Otness says:


  • Alaska Native says:

    Grandma never told me about drag shows growing up. Definitely not a part of our culture or an appropriate kid activity. I’m actually all for gay pride and rights but this is offensive. Talking circles, discussions, stories for age appropriate audiences- yes. Making a joke of the Heritage Center – no. The exec director is not even from Alaska – guess that helps explain the gaffe.

  • DoneWithIt says:

    Up until just a few years ago the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association regarded people who engaged in this behavior as being mentally disturbed. Anyone who is honest knows that people like this have varying degrees of issues – this is not normal.
    The ProgComm’s are attempting to normalize and equivocate all manner of deviance and aberrant behavior.
    Fundamental of Marxist revolution is to destroy the family and traditional values.
    This is utterly DISGUSTING.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Why would any parent even take their child to such an event?! I am sorry Joel, I could not even finish the article, it literally made me sick. This is serious parental abuse of minor children and the parents should be in jail. Choosing ones own gender ….. really? Like you may choose your height, or eye color, or facial shape? Gender is determine by chromosomes and that does not change no matter what you wan to be. How can stupidity be so epidemic?

  • G Aleution says:

    This is horrible. My mother taught us that girls dress as girls. I was taught by her that men dress as men women as women. No mix ups allowed. My mother would not have spoken softly and kindly about this. I believe this is an example of an abuse of tolerance dreamed up by a woke agenda in an attempt to cancel normal human development.

  • Yaari Walker says:

    People speaking without knowing what really happened at the center. John, you did not tell the entire story in truth. I saw the entire event. There was nothing sexual about it, no pedophiles, no pulling up skirts. Writers like you help start a fire. I am disappointed in you for leaving some truths out! WHERE IS THE RAGE WITH THE CHURCHES THAT DID THE REAL HARM TO OUR PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, AND GREAT-GRANDPARENTS??? Why aren’t you protesting against what missionaries and boarding schools did to our people??? John, write about the truth of the history of our ancestors!

    • John J Otness says:

      No one is happy except the evil with what happened to the Native Americans in the past Yarri but this is not a benign show here this is a prelude and an introduction to children of a shadow of the horrors on which these folks that been forcefully anally penetrated into the point where they have given up on humanity and its natural state. Yes it is a form of demonic possession through trauma and by their inability top cope and realization they are trying to drag others into that pit called hell. This is evil and the Devil is real.

      • Yaari Walker says:

        Then go protest against the church that did a lot of harm to us. Look around you, so much generational trauma passed down because of the church. Go protest against the church to try to make it right with our people. Let’s go!

  • Fascinated Cat says:

    *** INTERESTING ***
    So when a Doctor, Nurse, medical person, teacher, psychiatrist, military personnel, restaurant server, etc. commits a crime, (by the way they have and continue to do so on a wide scale for millennia)
    Your logic is condemned the whole organization forever? – fascinating logic.-
    Besides a church is a building, last time I had a building assault me was never.
    Better watch out for that lurking restaurants at night, car jacking school building, and the HUMMV who may pick my pocket in a crowd. – Fascinating Logic –

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