by Greg Lincoln
This past week I had the opportunity to travel to Fairbanks. During my trip I was able to go to the Alaska Federation of Natives convention.
Every trip is like a gift because people are so welcoming and appreciative. The interior city of Fairbanks rolled out the red carpet for all of its guests, thank you so much.
I enjoyed seeing folks from near and far including our relatives that live in that region. It was great to see you and your hospitality is everything a person needs to feel right at home.
Congratulations to Bethel’s Pete Kaiser, the 2019 Iditarod Champion, for delivering the AFN Keynote Address.
We were honored by Ulric and Mary Ulroan of Chevak who are the AFN Parents of the Year. You inspire us with your determination to finish college by overcoming the obstacles before you and returning to your community to help. Thank you for representing our region with your dedication to your family and by working together.
Congratulations to Ana Hoffman of Bethel for her re-election as Co-Chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives. She was re-elected on Saturday, the final day of the AFN Conference in Fairbanks. Ana is a great advocate and fluent in the Yup’ik language. Thank you for your service!
The NABT also put on a basketball tournament during the AFN convention giving our community teams a chance to play with other teams from throughout the state. Our local Bethel ball team who had some members from our villages did great, good job team.
I was also able to see the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) qaspeq displayed at AFN. The 6-foot qaspeq is made out of white material. On the cloth are the likenesses of 47 MMIW, some who we know and are from our communities. This brought to light the injustices done to our native women, who are sacred.
The artist is Amber Webb of Kasilof. Webb is a 2018 Individual Artist Award winner with the Rasmuson Foundation. She is a Curyung tribal member who grew up in Dillingham and Anchorage. Her art is based on portraiture in a variety of mediums to examine social justice issues and honor indigenous Alaskans.
Thank you for your hard work on this project. The MMIW that are portrayed will continue on through your art and this project.
Thank you AFN for your work in fulfilling your mission to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the entire Alaska Native community. We admire the work you do for our People and are grateful.
I am also thankful to be home once again. Traveling can be exhausting and there is nothing better than coming home and feeling that beloved ground under your feet. Quyana Agayun for safe transport to us all.