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Anchorage, Alaska: The Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors announced yesterday that one of AFNâ€™s most popular annual events will take the spotlight in its very own venue â€“ the first annual Presidentâ€™s Awards Honor Luncheon will take place on Friday, October 22 in the Egan Centerâ€™s Cook Hall.
“The President’s Awards have long been one of our most popular Convention events,” said AFN President Julie Kitka, “This year our honorees will receive even greater recognition for their amazing work on behalf of our communities, taking center stage at a dedicated award luncheon hosted on their behalf.”
Every year, AFN members from across the state submit nominations for AFN’s President’s Awards in an array of categories from Culture Bearer to Elder of the Year, Hunter-Fisher and Health (a full list of the categories and criteria is included below). A winner is announced for each category during AFN Convention week at the end of October. The AFN board of directors will choose Citizen of the Year and Denali Award winners, who will be announced at the Honor Luncheon this year as well. The deadline for President’s Awards nominations to be submitted via the AFN website is September 23, 2011.
This year’s President’s Awards Honor Luncheon will feature a full hosted lunch and on-stage tribute to the winners. Luncheon tickets and table sponsorships can be reserved online or by calling AFN directly. The proceedings will be broadcast live online by Blueberry Productions of Anchorage, with the livestream easily accessible through the AFN website.
The AFN Convention is the largest representative annual gathering in the United States of any Native peoples. Delegates meet to discuss current events and issues. Approximately 4,000–5,000 delegates and participants attend each year, and the proceedings are broadcast live via television and radio reaching Alaska Natives and non-Natives alike from Barrow to Ketchikan, from the Aleutian Chain to the Canadian border.
Visit http://www.nativefederation.org/convention/ for regular updates about this year’s AFN convention.
AFN PRESIDENT’S AWARDS CATEGORIES
Culture Bearer– Recognizes an Alaska Native who demonstrates strong involvement in the arts. Individuals nominated for this award may be involved in theater, music, dance, painting, sculpture, and storytelling. This award can also recognize an artist, an arts administrator, or a preserver of Native culture.
Della Keats “Healing Hands”– Named for the late Dr. Della Keats, an Inupiaq healer who served the health care needs as a tribal healer within the Northwest Alaska area for over 50 years. This award recognizes an Alaska Native who has demonstrated strong commitment, competence and sensitivity as a tribal healer or health care provider whose accomplishments have most directly affected Native people in their home communities.
Eileen Panigeo MacLean Education – Named for the late State Legislator, elementary and bilingual teacher – recognizes an Alaska Native who has demonstrated strong commitment, competence and sensitivity in the education field, and whose accomplishments have improved educational opportunities for Alaska Natives. Individuals nominated for this award may be involved in traditional education, preschool, elementary, secondary, or postsecondary education, the nominee can be cultural educators, parent committee members, school board members, administrators, teacher aides, or other education-related professionals, who have been a positive role model for the Alaska Native community.
Elder of the Year– Recognizes an Alaska Native Elder who exemplifies the highest of values and qualities important to Native people. This individual is recognized as a leader, an educator and preserver of the Native culture whose contributions have benefited Native peoples throughout his/her life.
Health – Recognizes an Alaska Native who has demonstrated strong commitment, competence and sensitivity in the health fields, whose accomplishments have improved health care for Alaska Natives. Nominees may be involved in the areas of health advocacy, program administration, and professional care and in the health professions.
Hunter-Fisher– Recognizes an Alaska Native who exemplifies and preserves the spirit of successful subsistence hunting, trapping and sharing, and our way of life. Nominees must acknowledge and ensure that the next generations of providers will carry on the traditions and customs in harmony and peace to sustain their extended families.
Lu Young Youth Leadership – Named for the late Lou Young, who encouraged young people to expand their horizons and challenge themselves to become future leaders. Nominees must be young women of high school age or students in college, who demonstrates leadership qualities.
Parents of the Year – Recognizes Alaska Native parents who exhibit many of the qualities and values important to the continued physical, social and cultural survival of Native people. These values may include sharing and teaching of Native culture, love of children, respect for Elders, spirituality, cooperation, and responsibility and involvement in the community.
Public Service – Recognizes an Alaska Native who has demonstrated dedication, competence and sensitivity in the area of public service. This award recognizes individuals who have promoted and assisted in the development of their community, or whose accomplishments and leadership qualities have most directly affected and benefited Native peoples.
Roger Lang Youth Leadership – Named for the late Roger Lang former AFN President, who encouraged young people to expand their horizons and challenge themselves to become future leaders. Nominees must be young men of high school age or students in college, who demonstrates leadership qualities.
Small Business– Recognizes an Alaska Native business owner or manager who has demonstrated success in business as with a commitment to their community, which has improved economic opportunities for Alaska Natives.
Glenn Godfrey Law Enforcement– Named for the late Glenn Godfrey, Colonel and Director of the Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Commissioner of Public Safety. This award recognizes an Alaska Native law enforcement officer federal, state or local) who has shown outstanding dedication to the safety of the public in any location(s) within Alaska, often requiring heroic courage in the face of danger.