A highlight of every Alaska Federation of Natives convention is Quyana Alaska.
“Our traditional dances remain the lifeblood of our culture and our communities. They sustain us and connect us with our rich cultural history. Passed from generation to generation, our dances ensure that the many distinct Native cultures across Alaska remain connected to their origins,” says the convention program. “First introduced at the 1982 AFN Convention, Quyana Alaska was initially introduced as a ‘thank you’ from AFN to Alaskans statewide for supporting the Native community in a pro-subsistence vote. ‘Quyana’ means ‘thank you’ in Yup’ik.”
Indian Country Today’s Tomás Karmelo Amaya shows how these dances bring people together.