First Alaskans Institute
Anchorage, Alaska – We are pleased to announce the opening of registration and our official Call for Proposals for First Alaskans Institute’s 35th Annual Elders & Youth Conference (Elders & Youth) taking place October 15-17, 2018 with the “Warming of the Hands” pre-conference the afternoon of October 14 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Each year, Elders & Youth amplifies and strengthens our healthy and thriving cultural identities, deepens our understanding and leadership on the important matters of our time, and creates a shared experience highlighting our collective responsibility to contribute to our homelands, communities, and diverse Native peoples of Alaska through the transference of knowledge between our incredible Elders and youth.
Our 2018 Elders & Youth theme, Na Ganiyaatgm, Na Lagm (Our Ancestors, Our Fire), speaks to the flame within each of us that keeps us connected to our Ancestors, our homelands and to what makes us uniquely distinct as Native peoples of this land. We will ask ourselves at this year’s Elders & Youth, “What will we add to this fire to keep it burning brightly?”
We thank our 2018 Statewide Elders & Youth Council, FAI staff and other members of our community whose thoughtful contributions and ideas led to our final theme. New this year, we will highlight one of our Alaska Native languages by using it for our theme. Each year thereafter, we will feature another language. This year’s theme language is Sm’algyax.
The “Warming of the Hands” gathering will be held on Sunday, October 14, featuring Men’s and Women’s Houses and regional breakout sessions – a favorite offering of many past participants. Early on-site registration will be available during this time. We are excited to again host “Chin’an: A Night of Cultural Celebration” on Monday, October 15, featuring the incredible talents of those in our community who step up to share their gifts with the world!
We are now accepting presentation proposals through Friday, July 20. Proposals should be tied to the theme and purposes of Elders & Youth and be grounded in the celebration of who we are as Alaska Native peoples. We prioritize proposals that encourage active participation and seek presenters that are open to collaboration as we work to craft an indigenized, thoughtful, and exciting conference agenda.
Registration is now open online, an early bird discount is available through Friday, October 5 with full price registration available through the conference dates. In response to past Elders & Youth resolutions and because of the many school districts that value the rich learning experience, they do not count the students’ attendance to Elders & Youth as an absence from school. Contact your local school district to find out their policy for Elders & Youth attendance.