Yakama chief accepts thanks from Alaska’s largest tribal organization

Alaska’s largest statewide native organization honored the Yakama Nation on Thursday during their annual convention in Fairbanks.

The Yakama Nation loaned the Alaska Federation of Natives $225,000 to establish itself 50 years ago.

AFN started in 1966 with loans from one Alaskan tribe and from the Yakama Nation. AFN leadership believes it’s a “sacred obligation” to honor the Yakama Nation for their help.

Yakama Chairman JoDe Goudy told a crowd of hundreds that he came to Alaska to advocate for collective understanding.

“Who are you? Where do you come from?” Goudy asked the crowd. “It is only in the pursuit of these answers that we will understand where we are going collectively as peoples, as nations.”

AFN advocates for 185 tribes across Alaska. Their convention has drawn national dignitaries, including the National Congress of American Indians president, of Washington’s Swinomish tribe.

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