The AFN Convention: An Unforgettable Gathering

Oct 19, 2023

Have you ever experienced the remarkable Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Convention? This multi-day event is a true Alaskan gem, held annually in Anchorage or Fairbanks. It stands as one of the largest gatherings in the state, bringing together thousands of delegates to discuss the most crucial issues in government and public policy that impact the lives of Alaska Natives.

2023 AFN Convention

This year, the AFN Convention, themed 'Our Ways of Life,' takes place from October 19-21, 2023, at the Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage. While attending in person is an extraordinary experience, you don't have to be present physically to participate; the convention is broadcast live on the Alaska Rural Communication Service, GCI Yukon TV Channels 1 and 15, 360 North, and live-streamed online.

A Diverse and Vibrant Agenda

The AFN's agenda is as diverse and vibrant as Alaska itself. From the welcome remarks by Native leaders and state officials to keynote speakers and annual awards, this event is a treasure trove of Alaska Native knowledge and culture. Panel discussions cover an array of topics, from education and energy to addressing the salmon crisis, climate change, and hunting and fishing. The convention also includes AFN board chair and village representative elections, along with consideration of the 2023 AFN resolutions. You can find all the convention-related information on the AFN website,

A Welcoming, Inclusive Environment

What's truly special about the AFN Convention is that it is free and everyone is welcome. You can attend the meetings, as well as explore the many exhibitors and artists. The Alaska Native Customary Art Fair is a treasure trove of art, featuring the work of Alaska Native artists from across the state and Native American artisans from the Lower 48. Here, you'll discover handmade pieces crafted from various materials, each telling a unique story. To get the best selection, make sure to arrive early on Thursday, October 19 – the doors open at 8 a.m.

The Highlight: Quyana Alaska Nights

In my opinion, the highlight of the entire convention is the Quyana Alaska nights. If you haven't experienced the Quyana Alaska nights, you're in for a treat. Held on Thursday and Friday evenings, both events are expected to sell out. These nights feature talented singers and dancers from across the state, including the Qasgirmiut Dancers, Chevak Tanqik Dancers, Lower Yukon Drummers & Dancers, Kuukpikmiut Dancers, and more. Get ready to join in the action during the invitational dances - it's not just fun, but a workout too!

Reconnecting with Family and Friends

One of the most heartwarming aspects of attending the AFN Convention in person is the chance to reconnect with friends and family. Amid thousands of attendees, you're bound to run into familiar faces. And, who knows, you might even meet a politician or two seeking election or re-election. The energy and excitement are contagious, and it's a unique opportunity to engage in discussions on significant topics.

An Unforgettable Experience

So, whether you're a first-time attendee or a returning visitor, the AFN Convention promises an unforgettable experience. We hope to see you there this year!

Connect with Bloom Communications

The AFN Convention is a wonderful way to experience and learn about Alaska Native culture first-hand. If you would like to take your knowledge a step further, I invite you to learn more about the Alaska Native cultural training workshops offered through Bloom Communications. These workshops aim to bridge cultural gaps, nurture understanding, and fuel collaborative success.

In addition to our cultural training workshops, we provide customized consulting to help you reach your business goals while understanding and respecting Alaska Native values.

If you have questions or would like to discuss anything in more detail, please get in touch!

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