Alaska Federation of Natives Convention

Also known as AFN will be held in Anchorage, Alaska next week from October 18-20, 2012 at the Dena’ina Convention Center.

This is the largest annual representative gathering in the United States of any native peoples…

Here is a video on their history

From their Website at

The mission of AFN is to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the entire Alaska Native community.

For Native people in Alaska it is also a time to renew friendships and exchange cultural foods, art and dance.

The highlights for me are the Annual Art Show, Quyana nights, the Alaska Market Place and seeing all my relatives and friends.  The art show showcases over 150 artists from all around the state and is held on the ground floor of the convention center.  You must get there early on the opening day October 18 at 8:00 am to get the items you want, because people flock in to see their favorite artisans and things sell out fast.  Quyana nights feature 14 different dance groups from different regions in the state over two nights of pure native entertainment. And finally the Alaska Market Place, from their website

The Alaska Marketplace brings together visionaries, financiers, technical experts and entrepreneurs in an ideas competition that promotes new organizational concepts which employ innovative ways of driving economic development and serving our communities in rural Alaska.

Innovators are invited to submit Alaska Marketplace Application describing their unique ideas for creating jobs, stimulating village economies and bettering our communities.

The innovators with the most promising proposals become finalists and receive entrepreneurial training and implementation plan coaching to refine their concepts.

Alaska Marketplace Application forms are available online prior to each competition. Business/Nonprofit Plan finalists are required to submit a detailed implementation plan for their project, then showcase their ideas at the Alaska Marketplace event. A world-class panel of experts grant award money to each of the innovators judged most likely to turn their ideas into results.

The Alaska Marketplace was created to draw from, inspire and encourage the development of viable and sustainable businesses and organizations by tapping into the creative passions, cultural knowledge and enthusiastic drive of Alaska’s residents.

This year I won’t be attending the convention, but many of my relatives and friends will be there.  I send them all a warm wish for a great week of sharing and reconnections.  I will be there in spirit and I’ll be watching on live stream.

With aloha,

Your thin blooded relative, Denise


About denisewallacejewelry

I am an Alaska Native jeweler living in Hawai'i with strong ties to New Mexico
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