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Unceded virtual space of our Alaska Native peoples
With over 10,000+ years of ancestral knowledge entrusted into living generations to protect and contribute to the transference of knowledge between our Elders and youth, gathering our most precious Elders and youth in person in such a large gathering, requiring travel for participation, then returning home to their communities is an undue danger during this pandemic that we will not risk. As we center the health and wellbeing of our community, we will once again provide a culturally-rich online environment that will connect and engage our peoples across the state and world.
In 2020, our virtual Elders & Youth Conference included 1,200 registrants. Over 2,000 people participated in the live webcast and broadcast, and 3,000 watched via social media throughout the four-day event. One attendee said, “The virtual world is new to a lot of us, but we still showed up and supported each other.” Another shared, “It is so powerful for all of us to come together, yet so important for us not to [be in person] this year. This was a great way for us to come together.”
Elders & Youth will begin with Warming of the Hands on October 17, and continue until October 20. We invite all Alaskans to participate and encourage schools to incorporate Elders & Youth into their classrooms. One teacher last year shared, “I loved watching my students connect with their cultures and community. They were empowered and learned to share their voices during this event.”
AwA’ahdah to our 2021 Statewide Elders & Youth Council and other members of our community whose thoughtful contributions and ideas guide us each year to a memorable conference. We thank our Council members, their regions, and their families for the time they spent with us this year, without whom it would not have been possible.
“This experience has opened up opportunities for me to be connected to ALL of Alaska, hearing from diverse Alaska Native cultures. It has helped me to feel that I have a voice, and to share the voices of our people.” – Statewide youth representative, 2021
With support from our community each year, we connect youth participants with each other, experienced leaders, and Elders to strengthen their voices as advocates for positive change. Elders & Youth helps to increase pride and knowledge-sharing through celebration of our Native peoples, communities, and cultures, and also helps increase the level of community partnerships across Alaska. We appreciate the good thinking and positive engagement of our Council members, AwA’ahdah to you and your families for supporting your work with us!
Teacher Level – $2,500 – $4,999
Cook Inlet Tribal Council
Kodiak Area Native Association
Youth Level – $250 – $2,499
Alaska Humanities Forum
Alaska Pacific University
Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
AwA’ahdah (Thank you in Eyak) to all of our Elders & Youth sponsors!
We look forward to seeing you this October 17th-20th!