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The Power of Imagination

Elders and Youth playing 'Maq'; teaching the traditional value of humor

Elders and Youth playing ‘Maq’; teaching the traditional value of humor

Inform * Inspire * Involve * Imagine * Impact 

The 2004 AFN/First Alaskans Elders & Youth Conference took place October 25-26, 2004 in Anchorage, AK at the Egan Center. This was the first year in which First Alaskans has helped plan and implement the Elders & Youth Conference.

The 2004 Conference theme The Power of Imagination was inspired from People of Kauwerak: Legends of the Northern Eskimo by William A. Oquilluk.

A special thank you to our Elders & Youth Project Team members:

Alice Petrivelli, Quentin Simeon, Phillip Blanchett, Lena Hoffman, Amy Loyd, Paul Ongtooguk, and Zazell Staheli.

Thank you to our major contributors:

Confence Quotes:

Ahtna Youth Quote:
“I commit to encourage my peers to stay in school and healthy. I also commit to stay drug and alcohol free.” – Peter F.M. Ewan, Copper Center

Aleut Youth Quote:
“I want to graduate from college, go back to my village to teach the Unangax language to the young children and babies in my village, and start a language immersion program.” -Crystal Swetzof, Anchorage

Arctic Slope Youth Quote:
“I will get out and make a difference- teach, talk, learn to and from others.” – Lucia Aquino, Barrow

“I will talk to the younger generations to think about their actions, present and future, and the good or bad consequences of their action. I want to make a good example by furthering my education, and applying my education to the good of the community.” – Takpaan Boskofsky, Barrow

“I will vote. I will listen. I will speak. I will teach. I will preach. I will reach. I will dream. I will try. And I will win.” – Matthew Rexford, Kaktovik

“I believe we have the Power of Imagination to do these things we talk about. We just have to put our heads together and work on it. We just have to use the power of our imagination. What am I going to do about it? I am going to finish my education and go to college and work on the issues.” – Carrie P. Henry, Point Lay

Bering Straits Youth Quote:
“I commit to go to school and be more respectful to my teachers. I will do my very best. I will also volunteer for events and activities in my community.” – Jessica Avessuk, Nome

” I commit to go to school on time and try my best.” – Julia Walunga, Gambell

“I commit to make a difference by hauling wood and shoveling snow.” – Richard A. Nassok, Jr., Koyuk

“I will make good choices in life so the young people that look up to me will follow my footsteps. I will help Elders when they need it, graduate from high school and start college, and not do drugs or alcohol.” – Flo Okpealuk, Teller

” I want to start talking to my papa about his childhood.” – Nikki Dill, Unalakleet

“Within the next year, I plan to start fluently speaking and understanding my Inupiaq language. To do this, I will write letters, email and talk to my grandparents in Kotzebue more often.” – Kelsi M. Ivanoff, Unalakleet

Bristol Bay Youth Quote:
“I’m going to continue to stay alcohol free and drug free and try to keep my friends from doing it too. I will encourage my friends that there are so many better things to do.” – Iris Bowers, Dillingham

“I’ll become more involved in my community and to speak up and let my voice be heard. I want to make an impact on people back at home by informing them about all of the things I have learned from my Elders and others at AFN.” – Tisha Luckhurst, Dillingham

“It seems to me that language is a very important skill not only to my peers, but to the Elders also. Yup’ik is a language that, in my opinion, should be taught in my school. I myself do not know any language other than English and Spanish. Yup’ik is not taught in our school and I will do my best to get culture back in our school.” – Briana Pauling, Dillingham

“I will encourage others to make your voice heard, not back down on issues that concern you, your community and your future. You can make a difference. Be the leader, not the follower and make an impact.” – Bethany Tennyson, Dillingham

“We could make a difference by working together and trying our hardest. Not only should we work and make an effort for ourselves, but encourage and inspire others. If we don’t work with what we have, we will end up with nothing. Although we try and keep our history going, we can make new traditions because new is change, and change is good.” – Anonymous

Calista Youth Quote:
“I will inform people who smoke dope the dangers and give ideas of better things to do for them and help them see the benefits of being drug free, I will try to help them se they are better than the drug life.” – Kristen Lamont, Alakanuk

“I will teach the Yup’ik language to small children as their first language.” – Emmonak Tribal Council, Emmonak

“I will talk to the Kipnuk Youth Council, teens, Elders and the community about the problems in our community, and how we can work together to find solutions.” – Daniel Paul, Kipnuk Youth Council, Kipnuk

“By being a role model for children and teaching them the Yup’ik ways, I think the children will want to follow. It doesn’t cost money to help and talk to children. By respecting them and making them feel special, this doesn’t cost money, and it makes a difference.” – Shawna Patton, Napakiak

Chugach Youth Quote:
“I will learn my language, dances, and the old way of doing things. I will talk to my umma, and learn all of these things, and make traditional clothing.” – Erik Ronnegard, Cordova

“I will learn my Native ways and volunteer in my community more.” – S. Steffan Ronnegard, Cordova

CIRI Youth Quote:
“I will teach positive behaviors, attitudes, and inspire youth to do arts and crafts, and writing. I will encourage youth to respect their parents and Elders. I will also encourage youth to get along with others in a good respectful manner.” – T.J. Chokwak, Anchorage

Doyon Youth Quote:
“I think my Native language is important. I will never forget the words that I learned from my family and they don’t forget about the language. I’m happy that I still know my Native language.” – Chris C. David, Nenana

“I’ll talk to the younger kids and try and encourage them to become Native teachers. I think we can start fundraising more. As the Youth Counselor, I can put together a meeting to talk about starting a youth leadership program.” – Blanche Demientieff, Holy Cross

“I will take the time to participate in activities with kids and believe that parent and community involvement is the key to students success. I think you can tell the difference between kids with parents involved vs. not involved. ” – Susie Sam, Galena

“I will do my best in school and to make better choices, like not becoming a statistic by drinking or smoking, and to encourage my friends to do the same.” – Karissa Peter, Fairbanks

Koniag Youth Quote:
“Study hard and work hard in school. Make nice friends.” – Misty Larionoff, Ouzinkie

“I commit to respect myself by doing more healthy activities.” – Sierra Panamarioff, Ouzinkie

“I commit to being a strong, independent person and being a positive person for others to be around.” – Channi Bartleson, Port Lions

“Set goals for myself.” – Greg Lukin, Port Lions

NANA Youth Quote:
“To make a difference, I plan on going back to my local Elders to get their knowledge…. Learn it, and pass it on. with the ancient knowledge we will progress and get back to our roots and save our people, culture and language. I believe I can pass on the knowledge… I don’t know how but a way to communicate ancient knowledge tour adults and youth of our communities is out there… we can’t quit. Its us. Our people, land, ancestors and futures. Knowledge is power.” – Lorena A. Nay, Kotzebue

“One of the biggest commitments to myself is not to use drugs or alcohol. I don’t want to get addicted and spend my money which I can use on stuff I want or need. Another one is to get more understanding with the Elders in our region. I want to learn more about our culture and our Inupiaq ways. If you know more about where you com from, you will know more about yourself!” – Roger Mitchell Jr., Noatak

“You want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.” – Dion Tickett, Shungnak

Sealaska Youth Quote:
“Support others in their time of need. If your aware of others actions with drugs and alcohol, teach them of all the dangers and risks they’re getting themselves into.” – Anonymous

“I plan to give more support to help fellow peers and help them and yourself to succeed in life.” – Anonymous

Conference Documents & Presentations

(1,238 KB)
2004 Conference Agenda
2004 Elders & Youth Conference Conference Agenda.
Conference Presentations
   » Day 2: Alaska Native History Presentation, Quiz and Results (3,794 KB)
   » Statewide Priorities as ranked by Consensor Technology (93 KB)
NOTE: Many of the documents are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. Acrobat Reader software may be downloaded for free from Adobe Systems, Inc.