Keynote and President’s Address Resounding Calls for Unity Based on Values
FAIRBANKS, AK – This morning’s plenary addresses made a resounding call for unity within the Native community and beyond. New and deepening partnerships within the Native Community, the state of Alaska and with national allies figured prominently. This year’s Convention theme, Traditional Native Family Values, provided a compelling lens through which to view the Native community’s unwavering dedication to building the best possible future for all Native peoples.
Keynote speaker Nelson Angapak delivered a moving address, speaking from his own personal experiences, as well as his many years as a strong advocate for the Native community. Angapak called on youth to strive for excellence, and on parents to support their success. He urged Alaska Natives to learn from and listen to the wisdom of elders in confronting the greatest challenges of our time, from subsistence to sequestration. He rallied a packed crowd with a powerful call, referring to the Native community’s ongoing struggle to protect subsistence rights:
“Is it wrong for us to feed our families?” Angapak asked, “I say NO!” Download a full PDF transcript of his speech here.
AFN President Julie Kitka praised the many individuals and groups who work tirelessly on behalf the Alaska Native community, from the AFN board and committees, to national partners. Kitka shared details about progress on Native priorities and the challenges ahead. Download a full PDF transcript of her speech here.
This year’s AFN Convention is taking place from Thursday, October 24th through Saturday, October 26th at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. More event details and a LIVE webcast of the event are available at: www.nativefederation.org/annual-convention
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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), 13 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. Learn more at www.nativefederation.org.