AFN Announces 2013 Convention Theme and Keynote Speaker | Alaska Native News

AFN Announces 2013 Convention Theme and Keynote Speaker

Anchorage, AK – The Board of Directors of Alaska Federation of Natives officially decided in the February 2013 board meeting the 2013 AFN Convention, slated for October 24th through the 26th at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska will focus on ”Traditional Family Values.”

“This year’s Convention theme recognizes our rich culture as Alaska Natives and the importance of family” says AFN President Julie Kitka. “AFN is very pleased to announce our keynote speaker Nelson Angapak. Nelson is one of our own and has been with AFN since 1975 as a Board Director, Chairman of the Board, and as staff. Nelson will be retiring from AFN later this year after 35 years of working within the Alaska Native community. We are honored to have Nelson be our keynote speaker and glad we can honor the invaluable work he has done for the Alaska Native community”.

Nelson is currently the Senior Vice President of AFN and has been with AFN since 1975 as an AFN Board Director, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AFN from 1979 – 1980 and various staff positions including Special Assistant, Executive Assistant, and Vice President. Nelson served as President and Vice President of Calista Corporation from 1980 – 1988 and worked in Calista Corporation’s land department for more than 10 years. Nelson has successfully lobbied the U.S. Congress for passage of legislation benefitting Alaska Natives including amending ANCSA on land and resources related legislation and related legislation and experience in developing partnerships and collaborations with national organizations such as LARAZA, NCAI, NAACP. Nelson graduated from Mt. Edgecombe High School in 1965, received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Mathematics from Ft. Lewis College in 1969, a Masters in Land and Natural Resources from Antioch University in 1978, and has a degree in Theology in 2002 from Golden Gate Theological Seminary.

Each year, the AFN Convention attracts nearly 4,000 delegates and attendees from Native Corporations, regional nonprofit associations, and villages across the state, as well as national and international guests. The gavel-to-gavel statewide television coverage reaches homes throughout Alaska. Thousands of daily web viewers from Alaska, the lower 48, and around the World follow the convention through live web streaming on the AFN Website.

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.

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