Cordova Ikumat dancers will perform at AFN convention

Members of the Cordova Ikumat Dance Group perform during the Ilanka Membership Drive Dinner and Native Fashion Show at the Cordova Center on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Performers with the Cordova Ikumat Dance Group will perform on Thursday, Oct. 18, during Quyana Alaska, a special event at the annual convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives in Anchorage.

Quyana cultural performances feature of dance groups from across the state from 7-11 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 18-19, and all ages are welcome. Tickets will go on sale at the Dena’ina Center on Thursday, Oct. 18.

The Cordova Ikumat Dance Group, formed in 1997 with help from the late Lydia Robart of Port Graham, has performed for years at several events throughout Alaska.

Membership is open, and the dance group has a wide representation of Native cultures, including Athabascan, Aleut, Sugpiaq, Eyak and Tlingit, as well as other diverse cultures.

In a statement prepared for Quyana, the group said “we are proud and very fortunate to have our young people continue to participate in the dance group and now they are moving into the leadership role. They are helping with the development of new songs and dances, one of which will be performed this evening. A few years ago, we introduced adults into the dance group and have had the unique experience of the youth being in the teaching position.”

This year’s AFN convention theme is Innovation: Past, Present and Future and includes three days of panels, presentations, engagement and an Alaska Native art fair.

Alaska Commissioner of Health and Social Services Valerie Davidson will deliver the keynote address at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage on Oct. 18.

Other speakers include Gov. Bill Walker, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Rep. Don Young, and Alaska State Legislature Speaker of the House Bryce Egmon.

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 25 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 to 5,000 attendees.

For more information and a complete schedule of events visit nativefederation.org.