This year’s Alaska Federation of Natives Convention celebrates its 50th year, and Fairbanks is where the celebration begins. The focus of the convention is “Reflect, Refresh, Renew” on the past 50 years.
AFN wants to “celebrate people’s work and sacrifice, and discuss the challenges and unfinished business of the native community in the past 50 years,” said Jeff Silverman, AFN director of communications.
AFN kicks off 6 p.m. Oct.19 with a Welcome and Fairbanks Four Potlatch at the Big Dipper. During the next three days, delegates will meet and vote.
“It is free and open to public,” Silverman said. “We encourage people to come and observe the delegates.”
An always popular event on the agenda is Quyana Alaska, set for 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 20 and 21. Quyana will introduce dances from all over Alaska, with “different kind of music and dances,” Silverman said.
“It is a great way for travelers to see Native Alaska dances and tradition,” he added. As in previous years, the entrance fee is $10 per person.
“Reflect, Refresh, Renew” won’t be the only theme of this year’s convention. Climate change will be front and center as it has been selected as one of the topics most important to Alaska’s indigenous peoples. Silverman said there will be a speech from the executive director of the U.S. government’s Arctic Executive Steering Committee. He will talk about the challenges of climate change and President Obama’s administration’s impact on Alaska.
When: Oct. 20-22, 2016
Where: Carlson Center, Fairbanks
Transportation: Take 15 percent off Alaska Airlines tickets to Fairbanks for the convention. More details at: afnfairbanks.com/transportation-2/
— Manon C. Grimault