Elders & Youth Conference Highlights

by First Alaskans Staff

The annual Elders & Youth is a unique convening designed to lift up the faces of our peoples while connecting Elders to our youth. We engage in dialogues on critical issues to amplify the voices of our attendees. We encourage positive change and cultural action within our Alaska Native community through presentations, discussions and hands-on activities. We focus on building relationships, sharing and strengthening our knowledge, and celebrating who we are as culturally distinct, diverse and beautiful Alaska Native peoples.

Elders & Youth starts with a Warming of the Hands session on Sunday, October 13 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. The following three days, October 14-16, are filled with interactive, dynamic plenary speakers, hands-on Living & Loving Our Cultures workshops, and Community Engagement workshops covering relevant community issues. Men’s, Women’s and LGBTQA+2S Houses honor our peoples’ ways of sharing through dialogue, creating healing spaces and by utilizing rites of passage knowledge.

Throughout Elders & Youth, there are cultural performances and an opportunity to showcase the talents of our participants, during our 8th Annual Chin’an: A Night of Cultural Celebration on Monday, October 14 from 7-10 pm at the Carlson Center. Tickets will be sold at registration and at the door for $5.00 each with tickets waived for Elders. Chin’an is a public event and will feature performances by Diomede Dancers, Di’haii Gwich’in Dancers, OPT-In Kiana, Q’oded Gilek Gidalyayh, Fairbanks Native Association Potlatch Dancers, and other special performances from Elders & Youth attendees. On Tuesday, October 15, a Teen Dance will be held for our registered participants and will be emceed by Ariel Tweto from Popping Bubbles, John Gourley and Zach Scott Carothers from Portugal. The Man., and Byron Nicholai from I Sing. You Dance.

Volunteering and Sponsoring

We could not put on Elders & Youth without the love and support of our community, volunteers and sponsors. Quyana cakneq for working with us in partnership to bring the most important people in our community together – our Elders and our youth! If you would like to volunteer for Elders & Youth please sign up online (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019EYVolunteer). If you would like to sponsor, visit our website (https://firstalaskans.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2019-FAI-Elders-Youth-Conference.pdf) for more information.

Broadcast and Webcast

Those who are not able to join us in person are invited to watch the statewide broadcast on Monday, October 14 and Tuesday, October 15 beginning at 8:30 am on GCI Channel 1, HD 907, ARCS, 360 North, and online at www.firstalaskans.org. Please note, on our final day, Wednesday, October 16, we will only be broadcasting on our website at www.firstalaskans.org.


Registration is available online (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-statewide-elders-youth-conference-tickets-57059004017) and onsite registration will begin 12-5 pm on Sunday, October 13 and at 7:30 am on Monday, October 14 at the Carlson Center. The registration fee is $55.00 for youth, chaperones and other adult participants, while the fee is waived for Elders.