The Alaska Federation of Natives, the state’s largest statewide Native organization, chose for its 2022 Convention keynote speaker Representative Mary Sattler Peltola. After winning the special election and becoming the first Alaska Native and the first woman as the U.S. House of Representative for Alaska, the AFN board and leadership invited Representative Peltola to help honor the diversity and resilience of our Alaska Native communities – past, present, and future.
“History was made this fall with Representative Peltola’s victory,” said Julie Kitka, AFN President. “We wanted to continue celebrating her win as it’s a win for all of Alaska. With this representation come equity for our people and for our communities.” Representative Peltola has stated that her purpose of being a “Representative for all of Alaska” continues the legacy of the late Congressman Don Young.
This year’s convention theme is “Celebrating Our Unity.” Since time immemorial, our way of life has centered around community, respect, and strength. We value the sum of all parts, over the individual contribution. We are stronger as one, and we are better for it. While there is always more work to be done, we are deeply proud of the way our people come together. This year’s annual convention will take place October 20 – 22, 2022 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska.
“With this year’s theme and with Representative Peltola as our keynote, AFN honors the unity among all of our Alaskan communities, families, and organizations working together,” said Kitka. “Together we can take on the challenges of today and those that lay ahead.”
The annual AFN convention is the largest representative yearly gathering in the United States of any Native peoples. Policy guidelines and advocacy statements are set by the dozens of resolutions passed by voting delegates at the convention. Each year the AFN Convention, evening cultural performances, arts showcase, and exhibit fair draws over 5,000 attendees. The proceedings are broadcast live statewide via television and radio and webcast to 70 countries worldwide.