This year Fairbanks had the honor of hosting the Alaska Federation of Natives 50th Annual Convention with the theme 50 years: Refresh, Reflect, Renew.
Interior Native Organizations including Tanana Chiefs Conference, Fairbanks Native Association, and Doyon, Limited gave attendees from across the State a warm interior welcome by throwing a welcome potlatch the night before AFN. Hundreds gathered at the Big Dipper Ice Arena for traditional foods, drumming, and dancing.
The potlatch also provided the Fairbanks Four; Marvin Roberts, Eugene Vent, George Frese, and Kevin Pease, the opportunity to honor and recognize all of those who showed them support during their fight for freedom. After food was served each of the four gave a short speech before presenting traditional gifts to the many volunteers, tribal leaders, journalists, and others who have helped them along the way. The night ended with traditional drumming and dancing.Read more
Two of our region’s respected elders presented powerful speeches this year at the 2016 Elders and Youth Conference, hosted by First Alaskans Institute.
Luke Titus of Minto and Peter Demoski of Nulato were the featured speakers during “Stories of our Grandfathers” at the Carlson Center. Titus and Demoski delivered powerful presentations based on their lives and the trials they endured as young people.
All too common to their generation are the stories of boarding schools and the pain and suffering our elders endured attending them. Titus’ story was an emotional look into how attending these schools led him to question his heritage as a Native. He spoke of the beatings his friends and even he himself suffered for speaking in their language, the only language many of the young people understood and spoke at the time.Read more
The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, formed in 2014 to seek an equal and shared responsibility in the management of Yukon River fishery resources, was founded on tribal unity for the health and well-being of Tribal members, future generations, and all Alaskans and Canadians who rely upon the health of the Yukon River fisheries. The Fish Commission has met for the last three years to discuss fishery management options, which have included voluntary moratoriums when the King salmon run was expected to be the lowest on record to reduced harvests in the past two years to make sure escapement goals would be achieved.