At the quarterly Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) board meeting on December 10, the AFN board of directors selected “50 Years: Reflect, Refresh, Renew” as the theme for the 2016 annual convention in Fairbanks, October 20, 21, 22.
The theme reflects the challenges, innovations and successes within the Alaska Native community over the last 50 years; refreshes our collective accomplishments, achievements and aspirations; and renews our commitment and dedication to enriching the future of Native peoples. AFN is grateful for all the help from our Native communities and leadership, the Alaska Congressional Delegation over the years, the State of Alaska and key strategic partners.
“This is a landmark celebrating the 50th AFN Convention. Our theme can be a catalyst over the year, for rededicating our efforts to improve the lives and opportunities for our people,” said AFN President Julie Kitka.
Ingenuity and inventiveness have given Alaska Natives the strength to survive for over 10,000 years. Our survival is based on adaptation and the ability to respond to changes. We have had our land claims. We have the recognition of our tribes. We have built up tremendous capability to self-direct our future. Throughout 2016, we will have the opportunity to use our best efforts, encouraging the Alaska State Legislature to take action in 2016 to address the fiscal crisis, and ensuring the final year of the Obama Administration produces continued real results.”
The annual AFN convention is the largest representative yearly gathering in the United States of any Native peoples. Policy guidelines and advocacy statements are set by the dozens of resolutions passed by voting delegates at the Convention. Each year, the AFN convention draws between 4,000–5,000 attendees. The economic impact on the host city is estimated to be more than $6 million. The proceedings are broadcast live statewide via television and radio and webcast to 70 countries worldwide.
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Author: Trina Landlord