Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Annual AFN Banquet is a unique and fun-filled evening that celebrates our indigenous cultures and honors the work AFN delegates have done during the entire convention week.

Tables seat 10. General Admission tickets are also available.

*NOTE: All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable. Click here for the banquet form.


To purchase tickets, please contact Nicole James, | (907) 274-3611


2017 Emcees

Andrea Akall’eq Sanders
Andrea Akall’eq Sanders, Yup’ik, was born and raised in Bethel Alaska. Her maternal grandparents are Katie Cleveland and the late Ham Cleveland Sr. both originally from the Southwest village of Eek, later raising their family in Quinhagak along the Qanirtuuq River. Her parents are Stella Cleveland and Brian Sanders.

Andrea currently serves as Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center at First Alaskans Institute. Andrea also serves on the Board of Trustees of the

Institute of American Indian Art and Native Peoples Action. She graduated from Georgetown University focusing on government and political science.

Andrea is a mother, a social justice advocate and works everyday to advance our traditional ways of life and Indigenous ways or knowing.

Mary Sattler Peltola
Mary Sattler Peltola is the Interim Executive Director of the Kuskokwim River Fish Commission. She is from Bethel and is the mother of four and step-mother of three. Mary served in the Alaska State Legislature for ten years, worked for the Donlin Gold project for six years and lobbied in the State Legislature for three years. She and her husband, Gene Peltola, Jr. enjoy traveling and outdoor activities.


2017 Entertainment

When Maori Haka Meets Alaska Native Dance:
The Southcentral Foundation’s Indigedance Challenge is Haka performance competition between New Zealand Maori and Alaska Native dance groups that integrates culture, history, traditions and regalia. The Haka is a Maori war cry, dance or challenge used traditionally used on a battlefield; today the Haka is used during ceremonies and celebrations to honor guests and demonstrate the importance of the occasion. The winners of the Indigendance Challenge performs at the AFN Banquet.

Maori Group Bio:
Our Maori members hail from their traditional homelands in the North Island of New Zealand (NZ) and have performed to local, national and international audiences and experienced in their traditional dance.   

The group are from Waikato-Tainui tribal group and the guardians of Kingitanga, the movement that represents most tribal groups throughout NZ and performs traditional songs and dances passed down through generations, sung in Maori. The Waikato-Tainui tribe take their name from their ancestral sailing vessel and the mighty river that flows through their tribal group, the Waikato River.

The performances includes Karanga (traditional act performed by women calling from ancestors to people before them); Waiata-a-ringa (singing and using hand movements); Poi (singing with a soft ball in motion on a string); Haka (traditional war dance); Waarea (use of wooden weaponry). A guitar as the instrument keeps the rhythm and beat to the waiata (singing). There are facial expressions by way of Pukana (eyes wide open (for female)) and poking of the tongue (male only)).

The traditional dress includes Piupiu (flax skirt), Pari (bodice) Panikoti (underskirt), Taatau (male waist band), Maro (male short kilt) and Tipare (head band).   Ornaments that adorn the performers includes Kahu Huruhuru (feather cloak), Moko Kauwe (tattoo on chin for females), Moko (male facial tattoo), Hei tiki (greenstone pendant) and Mako earrings (shark’s tooth earring). The regalia are all hand-made by local artists/designers from flora and fauna native birds and sea animals.

Our cultural items will reflect our relationships between our tribes, honoring our descendants, paying tribute to ancient and modern leadership and Maori political social, religious, family and economic issues.

The performers are well known throughout New Zealand. Individuals have performed and won at many Kapa Haka events including Te Matatini regionals and nationals (largest Maori performing arts festival in NZ) 2017, 2015 and 2013 and Te Kura Tuarua Kapa Haka performing consistently over 15 years.

For more information contact Nicole James at AFN,, (907) 274-3611.