The Alaska Native Sisterhood was formed 100 years ago in Wrangell, and the community will welcome a few hundred visitors this fall for the ANS centennial celebration.

Sandy Churchill is the president of Wrangell’s ANS chapter, also known as Camp #1. She said up to 500 people will come to Wrangell for four days of live music, speakers and possibly a parade.

“We have all these different committees–transportation, housing–so we’re hoping to fill up the hotels. And it will be a good boost in our economy for October,” Churchill said.

Alaska Native Sisterhood started as an auxiliary to the Alaska Native Brotherhood, which supports civil rights for indigenous people. Members also raise money for scholarships and spread cultural knowledge.

Churchill said ANS delegates, their families and the descendants of the organization’s founders will be in town Oct. 7-10.

“Our keynote is Ethel Lund. She’s from Wrangell. And she was the SEARHC CEO, and so we’re pretty proud of her and her accomplishments,” Churchill said.

She said Lund is also a past ANS Grand President, and she will join other past presidents on a panel to discuss the organization’s history.

ANS and ANB members in Wrangell are holding bake sales and raffles to raise money for the centennial celebration. They are also making candles and jam and saving fish and berries to share with other delegates this fall.

Churchill said preparing for the 100th anniversary has encouraged more women to get involved with ANS.

“We were just having our annual conventions and making money to go to conventions and making money to go to scholarships. But now, there’s this huge goal in front of us, and we’ve kind of been stirred,” Churchill said. “We were kind of quiet, and now we’re building up our membership and getting people excited about being in ANS.”

Churchill said the celebration is not just for ANS, and she encourages anyone who is interested to attend the events in October.