AFN announced plans for 2018 convention

Alaska Native art displayed at the Alaska Native Customary Art Show Oct. 20 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. Photo by Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times

“Innovation in the Past, Present and Future” is the theme for the Alaska Federation of Natives 2018 convention, set for Oct. 18-20 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, says AFN President Julie Kitka.

“Innovation has been part of Alaska Native societies for thousands of years,” Kitka said in an announcement on July 24. “Coming up with new ways of adapting and thriving is as relevant today as it has been in the past.  We face new challenges and new threats, which require innovative thinking and ever-expanding opportunities for our young people.

“Innovative thinking is a great problem solver, and every Native organization from our health corporations to our tribal consortiums to our corporations are engaged in adapting to our rapidly changing world,” she said.

Along with the plenary sessions, the convention features a trade show with 90 exhibitors and 170 artists, plus evening cultural performances, known as Quyana Alaska.  There will also be a health fair, in partnership with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Southcentral Foundation, and walk-in legal clinic with Alaska Legal Services, plus a closing banquet at the conclusion of the convention.

AFN officials estimates some 6,000 delegates and others attend annually, bringing an economic impact of $6 million to Anchorage. More information is online at www.nativefederation,org