The Alaska Federation of Natives, or A-F-N, will start their annual convention Thursday in Fairbanks. A-F-N is a statewide group made up entirely of Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, or ANCSA, Village and Regional for-profit Corporations and non-profit regional organizations, such as The Association of Village Council Presidents, or AVCP. KYUK’s Sophie Evan will be covering AFN for us and has this preview.
The annual gathering of Alaska’s Indigenous Peoples lasts for three days each year. The convention has alternated its venue between Anchorage and Fairbanks. This year thousands of Alaska’s first people will be descending on Athabaskan Indian Territory in Fairbanks.
KYUK radio will be broadcasting portions of the convention starting Thursday morning with the welcome address’ from Jerry Isaac of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, Fairbanks Mayor John Eberhart, and first traditional chief Don Honea Senior of Ruby. The AFN hosts’ welcome will kick off KYUK’s coverage.
Nelson Angapak who is originally from Tuntutuliak is scheduled to make the Keynote Address. Angapak was recently honored as Calista’s Axel C. Johnson Distinguished Shareholder for his decades of service to Calista and A-F-N.
Thursday afternoon will be the nominations for Co-Chairs of the Federation. The co-chairs hold an important responsibility as they often lobby and represent AFN in international, national, and local issues. Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate for Alaska’s Governorship, Byron Mallot, will also be a guest speaker.
Friday’s highlights include, Reforming Justice for Alaska Natives, and a more specific one on Health Care Reform Opportunities by Valerie Davidson. A Subsistence Overall briefing and status report will dominate Friday afternoon. Alaska’s Indigenous subsistence and food security are currently regulated by various Federal and State regulations.
By the last day on Saturday, the election results will be announced for the new co-chairs of A-F-N. The directives from the whole convention via resolutions will also be discussed and prioritized, before announcing the A-F-N President’s Awards.
The 2013 A-F-N convention starts Thursday morning and will adjourn Saturday afternoon. ###