AFN Selects 2017 Convention Theme



The Alaska Federation of Natives, the state’s largest statewide Native organization, chose for its 2017 Convention theme a call for unity and social justice. At its February 21 meeting in Juneau, the AFN board of directors set in motion a number of convention directives that guide the yearlong planning process, including the theme, which sets the tone of the 3-day meeting.  The annual convention will take place October 19-21 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska.

The 2017 Convention theme, “Strength In Unity: Leadership—Partnerships—Social Justice,” underlines the importance of a statewide unified approach to the many shared challenges and opportunities the Native community is facing this year.  The three supporting concepts of leadership, partnerships and social justice reflect areas of emphasis for AFN both in the convention’s agenda and in the statewide Native organization’s priorities.

“Unity and shared purpose have been a powerful ingredient in AFN’s success from the beginning,” said AFN President Julie Kitka. “Last year we celebrated our first 50 years as an organization.  We are now looking forward to the next 50 years.  We will achieve our goals through sustained leadership and strategic partnerships, all with an eye on social justice.”

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, evening cultural performances, arts showcase and exhibit fair 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.