AFN’s missing speakers and sponsors

17
2002

The governor of Alaska is sending a welcome video. The mayor of Anchorage is sending a welcome video. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is attending via Zoom, and it’s not clear that Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Marine reservist, will fly back from Washington, D.C. in time for the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage that starts Thursday. After all, there is a war developing in the Middle East over ethnic and religious differences and land issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Hamas.

Even Rep. Mary Peltola, who is scheduled to speak to the AFN main body on Saturday, may be detained in Washington for the Speaker of the House vote. She is on the agenda for AFN’s Saturday afternoon lineup.

The reality is that AFN has become thought of as a radicalized organization, and some leaders in Alaska are actually relieved to be too busy to attend. After all, some leaders still remember when a few at AFN turned their backs on Gov. Mike Dunleavy and his wife Rose and raised their fists in the air while Alaska’s First Lady, who is Native, was on the stage in 2019.

The top sponsor for AFN’s convention this year is the group that brought open primaries and ranked choice voting to Alaska: Alaskans for Better Elections. AFN has a resolution supporting that new voting system that went into effect in 2022, which catapulted Mary Peltola into office.

Other top-level sponsors are GCI and Visit Anchorage. Missing from the sponsorship list are several Native corporations and groups. For instance, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is missing, having separated from AFN. Doyon Ltd. also withdrew its membership in 2019 over disagreements with the direction of the organization. Sealaska, Aleut Corp. and Calista are missing as sponsors. These are some of the biggest companies in Alaska, created by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and are Native corporations that have vast resources, contracts, and sub-enterprises. Tanana Chiefs Conference is not a sponsor of the convention, nor is Tlingit-Haida Central Council, both powerful regional groups.

AFN still has other sponsors, but there appears to be strong differences between factions of Native leaders when it comes to the more controversial issues that have become front and center at the organization, whose leaders are President Julie Kitka, and co-chairs Ana Hoffman, and Joe Nelson, former husband of Rep. Peltola and father of two of her children.

An unspoken topic and one that isn’t being reported by mainstream media is the missing and indigenous leaders not playing a lead role at AFN in this era.

17 COMMENTS

  1. If Sealaska and Tlingit-Haida are sitting this out, there must be major issues within AFN.

    Ever since the Dunleavy incident, AFN has been steadily losing credibility and support.

    • It’s been losing its crowd steadily since 2002. It’s just obvious because of the loss of life, increasingly young families moving out of Alaska, and decreased income to come into Fairbanks or Anchorage, and differences of regional and political opinions.

  2. The AFN hasn’t represented the majority of native people in a long time. They are to closely tied to leftist activists and the radicals. The elders have lost control, so we don’t go anymore. It’s all political BS.

  3. I though the whole reason Anchorage built the Dena’ina Center was to host the AFN convention. If we can’t have a decent AFN convention, can we repurpose the building? The obvious choice is to turn it into housing for the homeless. Mayor Bronson sure had it right when he spoke of “the homeless industry.” Does the MOA do anything other than attend to the needs of the homeless? I vaguely recall that they did something in the past….

    • It may have started in that direction, but we need the Dena’ina Center for many other larger conventions that come in. Egan Center isn’t large enough for the many large groups that need to use it. They can use it for multi groups at one time..

  4. The AFN website has this: “We foster ongoing dialogue with our representatives and administration officials to advocate for fair and appropriate policies.” “Fair” policies…like limiting a subsistence lifestyle just to people whose DNA has certain characteristics. That’s fair, right?, because it doesn’t matter where you actually live in the state or your chosen lifestyle, all that actually matters is your racial makeup. The Natives want to celebrate their cultural heritage of hunting and gathering but with a white man’s twist – high powered rifles, snow machines, gas powered ATVs, modern vehicles, modern boats with engines, planes even. Modern hunting and fishing equipment. Homes heated with diesel fuel to return to after the culturally appropriate hunt. It’s called having your cake and eating it too. Using everything modern society has to offer while claiming ancestral hunting rights. All the benefits but none of the restrictions the rest of us have. Time to reset the playing field to something we’ve never seen – fair and level, everyone treated EXACTLY the same. No special rights or benefits for special people. Subsistence should be based on your lifestyle not your race because that is discrimination on its face and minorities are absolutely opposed to that, well, unless it’s to their benefit.

  5. Sounds sort of like AFN is now sponsored completely by White leftists…..and that is actually sort of appropriate.

  6. Julie Kitka must retire if she cares about the continuation of AFN. She is the main leader. The continual decline of AFN last twenty years doesn’t make her look good. Go out now so the board can get another president after talking to the departed organizations leaders for their opinions before electing a new president and new staff and even a new board of directors.

    It’s just like Anchorage wait too late to change and it’ll have to hit rock bottom like Detroit before it must make changes for the better.

    First Alaskans Institute isn’t anymore encouraging either. Last night I was watching yesterday’s muted YouTube livedtream for both the convention and its Chinan. What they think is great and encouraging, but I saw those kids don’t know what they are dancing for. They are just screaming, yelling, waving their hands all over the place during its dances. I grew up watching the Natives dancing before 1990. Dancing, singing, drumming, was quieter and purposeful to tell a story without showing off to bring attention to self not so loud and not such big movements like you are beating the War drums and preparing to go to war, while the speaking during conferences or conventions weren’t opinionated and radicalized like the speaker was trying to pump up their audience (pump them up for what?).

    FAI and AFN their board and trustees and staffs need to go back to the basics just like the churches need to go back to the basic.

  7. AFN had two people, one their house counsel, on Talk of Alaska today. They completely revised in their minds and for Public Radio the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the later Alaska National Interest Lands Act. ANCSA “abolished all aboriginal rights.” That is in the Act. In return everyone remotely claiming to be at least one-quarter Alaska Native by blood quantum shared equally in $1 billion tax-free ($3 billion in 2023 dollars) and 44 million acres. Then, about 8 years later here comes Jimmie Carter trying to renege on that to the detriment on non-Native Alaskans. Carter provided a subsistence preference for “rural Alaskans.” Just about every part of Alaska is “rural” except for the Railbelt, Juneau and Ketchikan. Then the feds began gradually taking fish and game management away from the state. AFN says that the part of the state constitution that says everyone is equal is racist. This would be a great time to take all this to the US Supreme Court! Let’s all try to remember “abolished all aboriginal rights.”

  8. I hardly think a few people protesting the shock tactics of this governor has toppled the AFN. The AFN didn’t need any help doing that to themselves, what with corruption galore amongst the ranks, and within the organizations that don’t serve the people so much as provide a breeding ground for ivy league stock market oligarch wannabes to viciously compete with each other, in cahoots with our stellar politicians, of course. Too bad and so sad that a lot of gambling fell far short of big egotistical expectations.

  9. Funny this should come up today. This morning I called Senator Sullivans DC office and asked to have our Tribal Council and hanger-oners to reimburse all Federal funds spent on airfare and expenses… simply because AFN is a left wing political operative in bed with radical outside environmentalists and the true enemy of the people, the Alaska Municipal League. (We like our PFDs in this village, not more big government socialist spending)

    AFN should be investigated by APOC.

    I also am asking for Stimulus Fund audits and the shut off of all Federal Funding to tribes in direct conflict of State and Federal Nepotism Hiring ACC’s and laws.

    The rampant corruption in the villages needs to be shut down.

  10. I don’t think that Alaskans for Better Elections should be able to sponsor anything. This just flat out seems unethical and illegal. Soros has his hands deep in the native kuspuks! Shame on you AFN for taking outside dark money.

  11. AFN constantly sides w/ the Democratic party, backing only lib politicians & non-profits.
    So profitable Area M fisherman dropped out (Aleut Corp), Arctic Slope Regional (AK’s most profitable corporation) dropped out, Doyon (Doyon drilling) AND Tannana Chiefs dropped out (no FBX representation anymore) & the Tliget/Haida Council are gone.
    Athabaskans left this year because AFN now backs the Fed Gov calling the shots on Native lands.
    Imagine, land was given to the Dene to manage & profit from & now their fellow Natives want the Feds to call the shots on that land ….. how insulting is that?
    Blame the libs (as usual) …. they did this.

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