AFN theme is ‘Good Government, Alaskan Driven’

Members of the Cordova Ikumat Dance Group perform during Quyana Alaska, a special event during the annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention, at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. (Oct. 18, 2018) Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times

When Alaska’s largest Native convention convenes in Fairbanks Oct. 17-19, there will be a lot of discussion on the basic necessity of sound, fact-based government policy amidst the state’s current fiscal challenges.

That’s the word from the Alaska Federation of Natives, which announced in early October that the three-day agenda would be packed with presentations and panels exploring the theme of “Good Government, Alaskan Driven.”

The call for good government is included in AFN’s articles of incorporation, signed by Native leaders over 50 years ago.

“Good government is governance that meets the needs of the people,” AFN said in a news release Oct. 2, to announce the convention agenda. “The ‘Alaskan Driven’ in the theme underscores our belief that sensible, long term and balanced solutions require meaningful Alaskan input through citizen engagement in the democratic process.”

The convention agenda will focus on core program areas, including public education, public health and public welfare. Also, on the agenda are a close look at a balanced solution to the current fiscal gap and the Permanent Fund Dividend.

The convention, whose location rotates between Anchorage and Fairbanks, attracts some 6,000 delegates, participants, observers, vendors and visitors, with an estimated economic impact on the host city of over $6 million.

Featured events include cultural performances, an arts showcase, an exhibitor and health fair, a legal clinic and dozens of workshops.

The event is broadcast live statewide via television and radio and webcast to 70 countries worldwide, AFN officials said.

Download the convention agenda online at nativefederation.org/convention.