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The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) will host the 2018 Alaska Native Studies Conference in Juneau from April 13-15 on the Juneau Auke Lake Campus. The annual conference brings together University of Alaska faculty, staff, and students from across all of Alaska as well as Elders and community members. Overall coordination of the conference is under the leadership of the UA Alaska Native Studies Council.
The conference is open to the public and registration is free for Elders and students. Sessions extend throughout the day on Saturday and continue on Sunday from 10:30am to 5:00pm. There is a $100 registration fee for regular conference participants. Registration can be done online or at the conference. For more details and to register, see http://alaskanativestudies.org/
Featured speakers at the conference will include Dr. Thomas Swenson, who is originally from Kodiak and is currently assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah and is a 2017-18 Katrin H. Lamno Fellow at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The second plenary speaker is Liz Medicine Crow, JD, President and CEO of First Alaskans Institute in Anchorage. She is originally from Kake and earned her Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University.
The conference opens on Saturday morning, April 14, at 9am in the Egan Library with special ceremonies involving Aak’w Kwaan clan representatives, UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield, Barbara Waahlaal Gidaak Blake, Senior Advisor to Governor Bill Walker, and the Woosh Ji.Een Dance Group.
UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield expressed appreciation to Professors Ernestine Hayes and Alberta Jones for their leadership in co-chairing the conference, and to hardworking faculty and staff at UAS who’ve been preparing for the conference. Caulfield stated: “UAS is proud to host this event which involves faculty and staff from UAS, UAA, and UAF, as well as Elders and a wide array of community members. Scholarship by indigenous faculty and researchers in the University has expanded greatly in recent years, and this is an opportunity to share insights and results from that scholarship. I’m especially pleased that so many students are involved.”
Topics to be discussed at the conference include: cultural resilience, indigenous science, math and technologies, indigenous education, Northwest Coast Native arts, Alaska Native leadership, jurisdiction, and sovereignty, indigenous languages and oral literatures, and decolonizing the academy.
Conference organizers expressed appreciation to event sponsors: Sealaska Corporation, Goldbelt Heritage Foundation, Sealaska Heritage Institute, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Kathy Shteiwteen Kolkhorst Ruddy, UAS Chancellor and Provost offices, UAS School of Arts and Sciences, and UAS School of Education.