AFN Announces 2011 Convention Focus on Unity

October 21-23 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage

The Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors announced yesterday that the 2011 convention, slated to run from October 20-22 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, will focus on “Strength in Unity.”

“This year’s convention theme is a very meaningful one for our communities,” said AFN President Julie Kitka, “It is both an homage to our accomplishments as a unified people and a powerful call-to-action – a summons for all Alaska Natives to find strength in our shared voice.”

This year’s agenda will boast a wide array of speakers, from government and national representatives to Native leaders.  Other highlights include Quyana Alaska dance performances; the state’s largest Alaska Native/American Indian Arts & Crafts Show and Exhibit Fair; Health Fair; AFN Awards for outstanding achievements and a closing reception and banquet.

The Convention attracts nearly 4,000 delegates and attendees from Native Corporations, regional nonprofit associations, and village across the state a well as national/international guests.  The gavel-to-gavel statewide television coverage reaches homes throughout Alaska.  Thousands of daily web viewers from Alaska, the lower 48 and around the World follow the convention through live web-streaming on the AFN Website.

The Alaska Federation of Natives was formed in October 1966, when more than 400 Alaska Natives representing 17 Native organizations gathered for a three-day conference to address Alaska Native aboriginal land rights. It is now the largest statewide Native organization in Alaska. Its membership includes 178 villages (both federally-recognized tribes and village corporations), 12 regional Native corporations and 12 regional nonprofit and tribal consortiums that contract and run federal and state programs. AFN is governed by a 37-member Board, which is elected by its membership at the annual convention held each October. The mission of AFN is to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the entire Alaska Native community.