Announcing the 2015 Elders & Youth Conference Theme, Opening of Registration and the Call for Proposals
(June 12, 2015 – Anchorage, AK) The statewide First Alaskans Institute Elders & Youth Conference will take place October 12-14, 2015 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska. This event creates time and space for the transfer of knowledge between Alaska Native Elders and youth. The Conference promotes the growth of cultural identity, understanding the issues and challenges of our time, and how to serve your community as a leader in all you do. The Elders & Youth Conference is known for utilizing Native relationships, values, and knowledge, along with other knowledge systems, to tap each participant’s personal strengths and empower our collective voice for the advancement of Native peoples.
This year’s theme “Not in Our Smokehouse!” speaks to cherishing, protecting, reclaiming, and strengthening our Alaska Native Ways of Life, standing together as advocates for the wellbeing of our cultures, languages, lands, and our entire statewide community. Our 2015 theme was generated by the youth of one of our villages who said it to each other as they played out on the school grounds. It was born of their young but keen observation of not only what is important to us, but also of the ingrained responsibility we have to protect our homelands and our Ways of Life. It was selected amongst a number of other great ideas by the 2015 Statewide Elders & Youth Council, First Alaskans staff and interns, and other members of the community.
The Call for Presentation Proposals has been released and can be found on our 2015 Conference Page. 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 encourage proposals that utilize interactive methods for delivering content and for presenters to be open to collaboration, as the planning team works to craft an indigenized, thoughtful, and exciting conference agenda. Proposals will be accepted up until Friday, August 7.