This year’s Convention theme, Innovation: Past, Present and Future, inspired a robust three days of panels, presentations, and engagement.
Highlights will include speeches from Governor Bill Walker, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan, U.S. Representative Don Young, the Alaska State Legislature Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon, as well as issue-specific sections such as a Thursday afternoon’s “Challenges Facing the Northernmost Border: Critical Partnerships and Investment Decisions for National Security, Energy, Transportation and Communities” that will continue the conversation started at AFN’s high-level Washington D.C. conference last April with U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on addressing the growing challenges in the Arctic. Panelists will discuss the need for new investment in critical infrastructure, expanded partnerships, and the challenges that could benefit from new and innovative thinking. This section of the agenda will also feature a special guest presentation from General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Commander, United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.
Thursday will also feature “Perspectives on Innovation” a section urging attendees to consider how innovative thinking leads to positive change in every facet of our lives, from technology to subsistence practice, from education to public policy. One afternoon panel asks “How is Innovation Useful in Leadership Strategies?” and features Native innovators Chris Liu, Yuarcuun Translation App; Michael Bourdukofsky, COO, Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, University of Alaska Anchorage; Tiffany Tutiakoff, President & CEO, Northwest Strategies; and Lenora “Lolly” Carpluk, Native Educator.
The 2018 General Election Candidates’ Forum on Friday afternoon will bemoderated by AFN Co-chair Ana Hoffman with panelists Hallie Bissett, Executive Director, Alaska Native Village Corporation Association; Emil Notti, Distinguished Native Leader; and Richard Peterson, President, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.
Participating Candidates include:
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Alyse Galvin Don Young
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA Mark Begich Mike Dunleavy Bill Walker
Saturday afternoon features a closing section that asks “What are the Challenges and Emerging Concerns in Alaska and the North.” Alaska’s most senior military service commanders will summarize current organizational status and outline activities proposed or likely to occur in the coming two years. In their presentation, the panelists will weave in any roles they may have in emergency preparedness or response; ways to expand and strengthen relationships and improve understandings of both requirements and opportunities. Each speaker will share their perspectives on innovation and how and where innovative action is necessary. The panel will feature Lt. General Thomas Bussiere, Commander, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, North American Aerospace Defense Command Region; Commander, Alaskan Command, US Northern Command; Commander Eleventh Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, with Rear Admiral Matthew Bell, U.S. Coast Guard, District 17; Colonel Clint Baker, U.S. Army Alaska; Lieutenant Colonel Penny M. Bloedel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District; Rear Admiral Scott Gray, Commander, U.S. Navy, Region Northwest; Major General Laurie Hummel, Ph.D., The Adjutant General-Alaska National Guard.
The day will end with the always-popular AFN President’s Awards Ceremony presented by the AFN Convention Committee and Committee Chair Sheri Buretta. This year honorees will be recognized with the following awards:
Eileen Panigeo MacLean Education
Hannah Paul Solomon “Woman of Courage”
Katie John Hunter-Fisher
Roger Lang Youth Leadership
Gin’tith (Richard Frank) Military Service
Glenn Godfrey Law Enforcement
Thursday and Friday night’s Quyana Alaska cultural performances will feature stellar lineups of dance groups from across the state. Quyana performances run from 7 pm to 11 pm and all ages are welcome. Tickets will go on sale at the Dena’ina Center on Thursday, October 18. Click here to learn more.
Real-time agenda updates will be available throughout the week on the AFN Convention app — available for free download through the Apple App Store and Google Play or at www.nativefederation.org/app/
The 2018 Convention theme, “Innovation in the Past, Present and Future,” celebrates the benefits of innovation and the necessity of continuing to strive for, seek, and facilitate innovation as we move through the 21st Century.
The AFN Convention is the largest meeting of its kind in Alaska and serves as AFN’s annual business meeting. Delegates are elected on a population formula of one representative per twenty-five Native residents in the area and delegate participation rates at the annual convention typically exceed 95 percent. Policy guidelines and advocacy statements are set by the dozens of resolutions passed by voting delegates at the Convention. Each year, the AFN Convention draws between 4,000–5,000 attendees. The proceedings are broadcast live statewide via television and radio and webcast to 70 countries worldwide.
The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) is the largest statewide Native organization in Alaska. Founded in 1966, AFN celebrated its 50th year in 2016. Its membership includes 186 federally recognized tribes, 177 village corporations, 12 regional corporations, and 12 regional nonprofit and tribal consortiums that contract and compact to run federal and state programs. AFN is governed by a 38-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. Learn more at www.nativefederation.org.