The speech that protesters drowned out at AFN

AFN protest


Gov. Michael Dunleavy was allotted 15 minutes on Thursday to address the delegates at the Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention in Fairbanks. He knew there would be protests, but he came anyway. The protesters came too, and jeered him openly during his remarks to the point where his words were drowned out. Here are some of his key points:

We must insist on better outcomes

“Increased funding, without demanding better outcomes, has not and will not improve the lives of Alaskans. We know things can be better and we must insist upon better outcomes. We must insist our children, women, and elders are safe. We must insist all Alaskans have better economic opportunities. And we must insist on better educational outcomes for our children.”

Processing backlogged sexual assault kits

“All backlogged sexual assault kits, including those collected decades ago, are scheduled to be processed no later than September 2021. A prosecutor and an investigator dedicated to cold cases have been hired to bring justice to families related to the previously unprocessed sexual assault kits.”

Troopers in rural Alaska

“In the last ten months, DPS has focused on increasing the number of Troopers in rural Alaska – More Troopers were hired in 2019 than in any year in the past decade… DPS will continue to aggressively work to increase the number of Troopers statewide with a focus on rural Alaska. We expect to hire 35 new Troopers in 2020 to fill the positions mentioned above.”

Continued support of the VPSO program

“We will also continue to support the VPSO program. We will have funding available in the budget to fund every vacant position that an employer needs to fill in the VPSO program, and we will continue to work with stakeholder groups to continually improve our public safety outcomes in rural Alaska. If there are recruits for the VPSO program, we will provide the funding to support those positions.”

Make tribal compacting for education a reality

“Families and local communities need to be directly involved, making educational decisions for children that are tribal members. My administration will be introducing a bill this coming legislative session that will make tribal compacting for education a reality. I look forward to working with tribes and lawmakers to craft legislation to put tribal compacting into law.”

Ensure the long-term protection of Power Cost Equalization

“Although the budget we put forward last year did in fact have funds appropriated for PCE, a legitimate concern was raised about the long-term protection of the PCE endowment. As a result, I am committed to working with Senator Hoffman, Representative Lincoln and other lawmakers to ensure the long-term protection of the PCE fund so that affordable electricity for rural Alaska is never in doubt.”

Commitment to work with all Alaskans in moving Alaska forward

“…over the past 10 months I have heard from many Alaskans from all over the state regarding the budget, programs, services, and the future of our great state. I want you to know that I have not just heard what you have had to say, but have appreciated the direct and at times difficult discussions that you have brought forth. There is no doubt that we still have difficult decisions ahead of us. But together we can solve these difficult issues confronting us. As your Governor, I am committed to incorporating your thoughts, advice, and counsel as we head into the next legislative session. I truly wish to work with you, and all Alaskans, to move this great state forward.”


  1. AFN didn’t want to hear the governor speak. All they wanted to do was yell and beat their drums to the tune of their puppetmasters in the Democrat Party and radical environmental organizations. Here we have a governor, married to a Native lady trying to get over $3K into the pockets of each Native, trying to get better living conditions and better public safety into the Bush and this is how he gets treated? Pretty sad. It shows the ignominious character of uneducated people’s who have endless axes to grind and are taught how to be intolerant and racist toward nonindigenous Alaskans. We seem to be going backwards and slipping away from civility.

    • If they were uneducated and ignorant, I would sort of understand. They’re well educated, and they knew exactly what they were doing.
      The protesters were organized by the environazis, and collected for the event, which was staged to make it appear to be the position of the majority.
      See the video. Only a small percentage were in on the protest. The event had been packed with protestors, making it appear to be well supported. In perspective, the protestors were an even smaller percentage of all of Alaska’s Natives.

      • Agree. I would wonder even if any, or maybe many, of the protestors were paid. A thought. That seems to be a left strategy. Too bad they ruined the ability for others to hear the speech.

    • ……and they all will curse when their PFD arrives in the mail……$1500 short.
      Curse the Democrats and RINOs.

    • I don’t know the readership for this site, but it seems to be a bunch of right-wing zealots and racists by the look of the comments… Calling AFN members heathens? Marxists? Godless? Racist? Uneducated? And they you declare they are slipping away from civility?!? Shame on you. If you care to know the facts, here they are. This governor has called for native and rural schools to ship their kids to boarding schools to save the state money…. This administration cut the Alaska Ferry system so deep that many of these Villages will have no service at all – and many no service from September thru May. The VPSO system was cut – until the federal government came to the rescue with funding. The education and college budgets were cut…. Programs for the aged, deaf, blind, homeless, and disabled were all cut by this Governor. Those cuts have deeply affected the Native community and the other poor and disadvantaged in Alaska. They were mean spirited and harsh cuts – all based on a lie that Alaska is bankrupt while sitting on $70 billion dollars. And they used their voice at their meeting to show their disagreement – and you judge them. Again… Shame on you.

      • You’re putting a lot of misinformation in your statement, TY. “Many of these Villages will have no service at all”?? Which villages? Did they have service before the massive expansion of the service 20 years ago? No. They did not. Back in the 1960s, when the ferries were started, only mainline communities had them. You take offense at welfare cuts. This is just sad. As for someone calling AFN Marxists, you are absolutely correct that AFN is not Marxist. Marxism is where there are no classes. The government controls all resources and the means of producing them. Marxism would destroy Native rights and the special class privileges Natives enjoy, such as their own corporations, full birth-to-death government health care, and the ability to lord their moral superiority over every other race, and tell all non Natives “Shame on you.”

    • Exactly. But the problem lies with a rabid group at AFN, which perpetuates the “all natives are…….” mantra. Julie Kitka should have admonished the behavior immediately. I’ve lost remaining respect for Julie. Shame on her.

  2. He continued to speak, even as we were biting his hand.
    A backlash is coming.
    We worked hard for it.
    We earned it.
    We won’t be deprived of it.

  3. Mike Dryden

    Regarding the small group at AFN’s convention during Governor Dunleavy’s address:

    When are we going to quit trying to please the Alaska Native who act like they are in detention class in a Title One school? I’m referring to the ones who are disrespectful and loud when someone who doesn’t give them everything they want as soon as they want it, turn into street thugs when they don’t get their way.

    What’s amazing is for some of them, that’s the most work they have done in the year. What bothers me is that they are always Native first and foremost. They think whatever they want, they should have any money they need to fix self-imposed internal problems. You got a local crime problem, and somebody knows the source. But the criminal is from a good family, so they are overlooked. Come from bad seeds? You are sent to Fairbanks or Anchorage to live on the streets. Thanks for your help.

    If your local government does have any money, then tax your citizens. Don’t have a local government? Establish one. The Bush communities should be ashamed of the way they live. They wait for the next check, the next moose hunt or fish run. They have no sewers, but one annual PFD for a family would buy a self-composting toilet large enough for that family. This solution has been around for years, but the Bush solution is to wait on a federal grant to install a village-wide sewer system at a cost of $300,000 per household.

    And this situation is not only in Native villages. I am on the city council of a first-class city with all the services to run on a small sales tax. Almost every meeting a small group shows up with an issue for us to address. No problems from me so far. You are at the ground level of government. But the problem always arises when we are at the point of what to do, how to pay for it and when to do it. We do the budget once a year in full view of the public, approve it and start the new fiscal year the same date every year. Most everyone wants it done now, and before anything else.

    When the Russians arrived with products derived from centuries of steady industrial growth, they encountered a population of pre-neolithic non-affiliated tribes who pre-dated their eventual Russian conquerors. They still were hunting and gathering as their ancestors had done for at least 10,000 years without any advancement in technology. No written language, no iron tools, no examples of agriculture was present in pre-Russian Alaska. It is no surprise Native Alaskans got their butts kicked by a far smaller force.

    When the USA purchased Alaska from Russia, things in Alaska started to change for the better for all. Medicine and staff arrived, Christians from all faiths began the long delicate process of conversion and labor-saving mechanical equipment was available to all. Things are better in Alaskans now than in the past 10 years. But we will have to reduce the bloated state government at all levels. No one sector deserves a privileged spot. Not suburbanites, not the Bush, not the public sector in Juneau or the average resident.

    Let’s all be Alaskans again for the good of the state.

    • You are out of touch. Most of Alaska has sewer and flushing toilets. yes there are still improvements that need to be made. Please don’t fault natives for wanting to stay with their cultural ways of life. None of this was going on before we screwed things up. The blame lies solely on our backs and perhaps the solution is there as well. You seem to have an issue with the way people decide to take a crap. It’s not your decision on how natives choose to spend their PFD whether it be with a boat, an ATV or a hunting rifle. Mostly people are just trying to live and put a meal on the table. How dare you scold Alaskan natives. How did you get to be so high-and-mighty? Only God can look down on people and make the type of decisions and conclusions but you seem to be capable of. Disgusting.

    • And then there is a Native faction that wants to eliminate Alaska Day. Holy hay-suess. What in the heck has happened? If they would stop screaming so they could listen…..

      • When I grew up in Alaska in the 60s and 70s Natives and Whites got along fine. Respectful to each other. Shared cultures with each other. Worked together. What the hell happened? For the past 25 years, we have been taught to fight each other and be suspicious of each other. Did this come about from Left wing academia?

    • MIKE DRYDEN – very well spoken. I have been to many remote villages in Alaska and agree whole heartedly with your observations.

      • You people who think you have the magic coin to fix everything that’s broken are disgusting. Some things can’t be fixed and there’s been too much water under the bridge. Some things we just got to live and let live. To Quote Rodney King….. “Can we all get along?” The answer would be no, because the House majority is just like the dark side. They gain strength the more people fight amongst themselves.

  4. You are absolutely right. Bryce edgmon whips up the crowd and a few go absolutely berserk. They would hate on him or anyone else even if you were giving them a sack of money a couple of brand new Hondas and a free plane ride to Hawaii. If AFN wants to remain credible at their meetings, they should put on more security I have these people tossed out and hopefully if they land on their head it will knock some sense into them.

  5. To the woman holding the MMIW sign. Really? Is this how you get attention to the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in our State and Nation? If you aren’t already, join a group that has REAL conversations (two-way) and working REAL solutions to this terrible problem. If you would have shut up, you would have heard the Governor’s comments. His administration has already vowed to go after ANYONE (and that includes those hiding in the villages) that hurts our women and children.
    Over the last week in Anchorage, police have arrested a man for the murders of TWO NATIVE WOMEN. There is no doubt that the Governor will spare NO EXPENSE to ensure this monster never sees the light of day again.
    Be a part of the solution. Your screaming does nothing but give you a sore throat.

  6. Well another example of Natives helping solve the state issues and working for a way forward for a sustainable common sense budget. Real adult examples to learn from.

  7. Please continue to support Governor Mike in his efforts to bring reality to State govt, and pray for his courage to stand tall.

  8. Just don’t look down on all Natives. Some of us are conservative like some of you. It’s embarrassing when a person is talking and they start acting like their counterparts in the Democratic Party. ie, Pelosi, Waters, Schummer, et. al. like a bunch of spoiled babies…

    • Well said Lou. Yes there are good people in Alaska and not everybody buys into the hate-mongering is being force-fed by the house majority. I am Native American as well and I support Native Alaskans, but at the same time I support Governor Dunleavy because he has a good heart. Mostly that’s all that someone needs nowadays is a good heart, but it seems sometimes that is in short supply.

      • What’s in short supply is common sense and respect. I live in rural Alaska and am married to an Alaska Native. Been here a very long time. When you respect a person’s point of view, then you’re doing yourself a big favor when that person wants to have an honest dialogue with you. However, immediately upon showing disrespect to that person, forget all chances of having a fruitful engagement of differing ideas. All you’ll hear is noise. Just like at AFN … it’s really all about respect and common sense.

        • I agree 100%. AFN should not allow this sort of conflicting behavior. It stands to alienate most of the room. If they don’t speak for most people in the room, toss them out and let them protest on the side walk. To disrespect our governor only whips up the will to close the mind and cease communication.

  9. It is nice to hear other voices from Native community. Tough when everyone is being painted with the same brush. My friends that are Native are more conservative than me.
    I do not understand how the Governor could possibly be on the wrong side of AFN.
    Anyway you cut it, he is married to a Native and supports a Full PFD. A full PFD is the most fair Progressive distribution money that would effect the Native population.
    Unfortunately History does repeat itself, recall the abandonment of Ted Steven’s by the Native Community in 2008. After Mr Stevens dedicated his life to helping the Natives of Alaska.
    Also at AFN to Big Deal former Governor Walker, seriously. He did more harm to the Native community than any other Governor. Did Walker have his serial child molester in tow. How the Natives can give Walker a pass on Native Women Abuse is beyond me.

    • Don’t count us out. We are smart enough to see who is behind stealing our PFD. Bryce Edgmon goes around stirring everybody up. He came to a teacher in-service training of ours, politicking and said if the governor doesn’t do what he wants him to do, he will run him off. He alienated almost everyone in the room. I was about to get up and walk out. So inappropriate. So much hate in the man. I don’t know what we Natives did to piss him off. He kept saying the PCE would not come, but it was always a part of the budget. He said the Governor would cut K-12 education and he didn’t. Basically just a fear monger that some buy into. He’s a great liar, though.

  10. As a former board member to AFN, I am so ashamed of this behavior. Why would any sitting governor want to address AFN in the future. This is not the thinking of all our people and much discussion is taking place. It was sad for me to see how we could treat someone who was invited to present. While I do not agree with all the cuts… we must do something to get the spending under control. I felt so bad for the Governors wife who was visibly shaken, but she handled herself with dignity.

    • Yes she was. Would you blame the Governor if he turned a blind eye or deaf ear to Native issues? He won’t because he is here for all people. He has a state to run though, and what needs to be done isn’t popular for everyone.

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