The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) announces today that U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka and Assistant Interior Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn will be special guests at the 2012 AFN Annual Convention, and give special plenary session addresses. The 2012 Convention will be held October 18-20, 2012, in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Dena’ina Center. Senator Akaka is scheduled to speak at 1:30PM on October 19, while the details of Assistant Secretary Washburn’s remarks will be made available in the coming days.
Senator Akaka is the first (and only) Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, Congressman Akaka was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1990, and won re-elections in 1990, 1994, 2000 and 2006. He served as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in the 112th Congress, and as a member of the Armed Services, Banking, Homeland Security and Government Oversight, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. Senator Akaka will retire in January 2013 after 35 years of congressional service. Like many of his generation, the Senator is a World War II veteran, working in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1943 to 1945, and then on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947.
Assistant Secretary Washburn, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, was nominated to his current position in August 2012 by President Barak Obama, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in September. He is responsible for overseeing and coordinating policy decisions for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education. Prior to his appointment, Assistant Secretary Washburn was an accomplished law school dean and professor, and federal attorney.
AFN is hosting an honors lunch on October 18 at 12:00PM, at the Downtown Marriott Hotel, thanking Senator Akaka for his many decades of leadership and collaboration. Tables are available for immediate sponsorship. Individual tickets, meanwhile, will go on sale at 8:00AM on October 18 at the AFN Information Booth, located on the second floor landing of the Dena’ina Center.