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Anniversary of the Largest Statewide Gathering of Elders & Youth Announces the Theme and Opportunities to be Involved

On October 15-18, 2023, we celebrate the 40th Annual First Alaskans Institute Statewide Elders & Youth Conference (Elders & Youth; EY), we will be hosting in-person in Dgheyey Kaq’ at the Dena’ina Center. Elders & Youth is open to all who want to learn and immerse in a gathering that centers our Elders and our youth inNative ways of knowing and being. In order to participate, you must register and agree to the rules that help keep our conference safe for our Elders and our youth. READ MORE


Celebrating the 12th Annual
Howard Rock & Ted Stevens Smokehouse Gala

Join Us! 
November 18th
Dena’ina Convention Center
Anchorage, Alaska

We are excited to announce that our 12th Annual Howard Rock & Ted Stevens Smokehouse Gala will be hosted again as a hybrid in-person and virtual event this year! Funds raised during our highly anticipated event make an immediate difference in the lives of youth, Elders and our communities, and provide opportunities to spotlight and uplift our Native cultures and artists.

Gala attendees often tell us that the items in our silent auction are world-class due to the phenomenal artists and cultures represented, and the love of our peoples that sets the stage for an exciting auction! Through the direct support we receive from our incredible Alaska Native artists and organizations across the state, this auction showcases the ingenuity and creativity of our amazing artists. The in-person auction reaches well over 500 people and the virtual part of the auction reaches globally! Again, without you, this fundraiser and the quality of it would not be possible. Gunalchéesh for your consideration of this request for donations and your support of our work!



We are seeking donations of art, Native clothing or attire, jewelry/accessories, gift baskets, experiences, excursions, performances, events, gift certificates, or other Native made items for the silent auction or to be used as raffle prizes. This is not only great exposure and market reach for your artwork, but also across social media platforms. You, as the donor, will also have the option to give 100% of your donation’s final auction price to First Alaskans or receive a percentage of the final auction price. The hybrid auction approach will also include expanded artist bios, descriptions, and links to purchase more of your work. Certain levels of donations may also include further value back to the artist, such as an artist booth at the upcoming Elders & Youth Conference in Anchorage and small ad space highlighting your work in our First Alaskans Magazine. To donate please fill out the donation form at the link below. If you have more than one item to donate, please fill out a separate donation entry for each item.



Beginning November 10th, you will be able to buy raffle tickets online! These raffles are part of our 2023 12th Annual Howard Rock & Ted Stevens Smokehouse Gala events. By participating in the raffle you are helping to support the work we do. We hope you join us as we celebrate Native Heritage Month, honor and uplift our peoples and artists, and raise funds to continue to do our work. All proceeds go towards advancing Alaska Native ways of life, ensuring Alaska Native peoples are involved in decision-making at all levels, and cultivating our leadership responsibility from birth to Ancestor. 

We will have the 50/50 raffle and tickets are 1 for $25 or 5 for $100. This raffle will open Friday, November 10th and will close 12pm on Thursday, November 16th, 2023. Winner gets half of the funds raised in this raffle, splitting the pot with First Alaskans Institute. Winners will be announced via social media and livestream that evening at 5.30 pm. 

We also have a Le’t’ (Box in Eyak) Squares Raffle – Only 100 tickets for sale at $25 per ticket for a chance to win some amazing prizes, to be announced in the coming weeks.  Check back for updates!

Purchase as many as you would like to increase your chances. All entries will be drawn randomly and placed on the Square Board in sequential order as drawn. The 25th, 50th, 75th and 100th name drawn will automatically win a prize, then 3 random numbers will be drawn for the above listed prizes. Ticket sales will close at 12:00pm on November 16th, 20223 and winners will be announced at 5:30 pm during our Livestream Winner Reveal on Thursday, November 16th, 2023.

Gaming Permit #106023



We are looking for volunteers on November 19 and 20. We couldn’t put on a successful event without tremendous support from our volunteers, including set-up, registration, ushers, silent auction, spotters and more. Sign up to volunteer below.

Gunalchéesh for your support! Contact us at [email protected] or phone at 907-677-1700 with any questions. 


Become a Sponsor or Purchase a Table or Seat(s)

The support of our community by organizations such as yours help us to prepare Native leaders to advance a collective vision of healthy, happy, thriving Native communities, build strong relationships across the state to strengthen the Alaska we all love, and ensure Alaskans see our homelands as a universally recognized and valued Native place.  

There are many ways for your organization to support our work through sponsorships fitted for your outreach and exposure goals and budget.  Our sponsorship packages include exciting new perks of advertising in our First Alaskans Magazine! Learn more about our sponsorship packages here. We also have a website where you can purchase sponsorship packages directly Smokehouse Gala. Sponsorship packages offer a variety of exposures for your organizations, and we are always happy to discuss special arrangements as well.


The Board of Trustees Announce an Exciting Transition

After 15 years of service with First Alaskans Institute for our Alaska Native community, the FAI Board of Trustees announces that La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow will be transitioning out of the President/CEO role by the end of 2023.

“When we first envisioned the potential of First Alaskans Institute, we always imagined an expansive body of work that could live up to our vision of progress for the next 10,000 years. Since our inception, we have helped to elevate almost 400 Summer Interns, nearly 100 Fellows, over 60,000 Alaskans in dialogues and gatherings, and have hosted the Statewide Elders & Youth Conference for 20 years – that’s an average of 2500 people every year for 20 years! We invest in our people, our communities, and our younger leaders in ways that make it possible to achieve that 10,000 year vision. And for the past 15 years – 11 as our President/CEO – La quen náay and the amazing staff of First Alaskans have advanced this vision by centering Native peoples, our knowledges, our truths, our love for who we are, and the critical connection between our Native peoples and our homelands. On behalf of our Board of Trustees, we wish her well on the next chapter of her service to our Native peoples,” said Willie Iġġiaġruk Hensley (Iñupiaq), Board Chair. Read the full announcement here.


Summer 2023 edition available now!

Read Now

First Alaskans Magazine is pleased to offer you this free edition focusing on a remembrance of Joe Senungetuk, a new cargo program for back haul out of Nome, a report on the Tribal Clean Energy Summit, Native artist, Crystal Worl’s design of an Alaska Airlines aircraft, Book reviews from Native authors and other stories from around the state of Alaska.

To increase readership and access, we are currently offering the magazine free of charge. In lieu of paid “subscriptions”, we are offering you the ability to become a supporter. In addition, we are launching a new online ad sales process in June to make it easier for advertisers to select from a menu of options for future editions.

Support us as an advertiser or sponsor

Learn More About Our Magazine Upgrade



Alaska Native Policy Center

Native Minds Shaping Our Future. Connecting people and ideas producing knowledge that can be used to understand and improve the lives of Alaska Natives and all Alaskans.

Compacting in Alaska – information and resources.

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT). Learn more about our TRHT work here (How We Heal Toolkit).

Moananuiākea Voyage: A Voyage for Oceans, A Voyage for Earth

Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) is launching their next major voyage and educational campaign called Moananuiākea Voyage: A Voyage for Oceans, A Voyage for Earth from Alaska upon the Hōkūle’a, the original wa’a built to reignite their voyaging renaissance. This voyage will circumnavigate the Pacific Ocean over the next four years drawing attention to the vital role our ocean plays in the well-being of the world and connecting the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific to amplify our collective role and power in caring for our world. READ MORE


Leadership Development

Helping to develop the
next generation of Alaska Native leadership, ensuring that they are connected to their culture and each other.

Elders & Youth Conference  Registration is Open

Our 40th Annual Statewide Elders & Youth Conference will be held at the Dena’ina Conference Center in Anchorage, AK on October 15-18, 2023. 


Let it be that we heal each other

Elders & Youth is open to all who want to learn and immerse in a gathering that centers our Elders and our youth inNative ways of knowing and being. In order to participate, you must register and agree to the rules that help keep our conference safe for our Elders and our youth.

Learn more by following these links below:


Community Investments

Our commitment to highlighting and supporting what is working well in Alaska, funding projects that promote healthy and thriving communities, and publishing the First Alaskans Magazine.

Howard Rock & Ted Stevens Smokehouse Gala

The Smokehouse Gala is our signature fundraiser that celebrates our Indigeneity in beautiful and innovative ways while uplifting Alaska Native peoples and friends who work to advance our ways of life. 
We invite you to become a sponsor, supporter or volunteer of the gala, and join us in celebrating our beautiful peoples, our vibrant lands and our rich cultures, contributing to the empowerment of Native leaders and supporting healthy, thriving, and connected communities throughout our state. 

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Knowing, Living & Loving Our Ways of Life Support Fund.


Connect with First Alaskans Institute:


Our main phone number is (907) 677-1700. Gunalchéesh (thank you in Lingít)!