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Elders & Youth Conference begins next week

October 14th, 2016 | Shady Grove Oliver, The Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman Print this article   Email this article  

The 33rd annual Elders & Youth Conference is happening next week in Fairbanks just before the start of the Alaska Federation of Natives gathering.

From Oct. 17-19. participants will come together at the Carlson Center for presentations, cultural celebrations, language workshops, and discussions hosted by the First Alaskans Institute.

The theme for this year's conference is "Ancestral Imperative: Adapt. Unite. Achieve."

"Our theme speaks to how we as Alaska Native peoples adapt to our surroundings using modern and ancient tools, unite our collective knowledge and experiences together, all to achieve the dreams of our ancestors who have expressed an unwavering demand that we live by the principals and values of our indigenous life ways across all time," write conference organizers.

Organizers have outlined some of the goals of the gathering as strengthening cultural identity, learning and teaching languages, building cohesion and relationships among communities statewide, and encouraging an understanding of current issues with an eye toward coming up with solutions and local engagement.

"We utilize our cultures, languages, and ways of being as the medium for knowledge-building, and invite our cultural practices, aesthetics and arts, knowledge and innovation to create a platform for hands-on engagement," they write.

More information on the conference and how to attend can be found at or on the Facebook page of the First Alaskans Institute. Portions of the conference will be broadcast live on GCI/ARCS and 360 North and a webcast of the conference will be available at


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