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News Release


[email protected]

For Immediate Release
April 25, 2016

ANCESTRAL IMPERATIVE: Adapt. Unite. Achieve.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – We are pleased to announce the theme and call for proposals for this year’s statewide First Alaskans Institute (FAI) Elders & Youth Conference which will take place October 17-19, 2016 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Our theme, “ANCESTRAL IMPERATIVE: Adapt. Unite. Achieve.” speaks to the call to action from our Ancestors that we all carry – collectively and personally – to perpetuate who we are into the future, and the recognition that it is through our cultural and language wellbeing that our peoples and communities will thrive. Being strong, healthy, culturally-connected Native peoples does not happen in a vacuum; it must be grown, nurtured, and loved. Through the conference we strive to operationalize these values and ignite this responsibility. We thank all those who collaborated to come up with this powerful theme, especially our wonderful and committed Statewide Elders & Youth Council, FAI staff and youth from the community. Our theme is the culmination of a collective effort to craft a compelling and resonating anthem that sets the tone for the conference and leads our organizing efforts.

This gathering – which has occurred annually for over 30 years – is focused on creating lifelong connections to our vibrant and diverse Alaska Native cultures. We do this through the intergenerational transference of knowledge between our Elders and our youth to promote the growth and strengthening of cultural identity, language learning, statewide cohesion and relationships, encourage deeper understanding of the issues and challenges of our time with a focus on solution-making and proactive engagement, while serving our communities as a leader in all we do. 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. Our participants are the experts of their experience and lives and we create opportunities to tap their knowledge, their voice, and their vision for a healthy, thriving Native future.

We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting presentation proposal submissions until August 5th, 2016. You can find more information and download the forms from the 2016 Conference Page or complete proposals online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2016EYCallForPresentations. Presentations should be clearly tied to the conference theme, strive to achieve the purposes of the Conference, and be grounded in the celebration of who we are as Alaska Native peoples. There is tremendous range among potential topics to maximize and accommodate our diversity and the goals of the conference. We seek proposals that utilize interactive methods for ensuring Elders and youth connect and engage with one another, and for presenters to be open to collaboration, as the planning team works hard to craft an indigenized, thoughtful, and exciting conference agenda.

Please help us spread the word by sharing our Facebook and Twitter posts, and let us know if you have any questions or would like more information. We look forward to seeing you in Fairbanks!

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