AFN got its start in 1966. It focused on land claims for many years.
Today, it also works in areas such subsistence, health, education, jobs and governance.
Natives have for-profit corporations, like Sealaska. Tribes and non-profit organizations provide services to Natives. During the annual AFN Convention delegates of those organizations meet. They hear speeches on issues, and adopt resolutions on challenges Alaska Natives face. AFN sends the approve resolutions to agencies and politicians. AFN uses them as guides for their own work.
“I would like to see our Alaska Native people standing proud for their culture, all of us feeling love of who we are, standing together and not apart,” said Jori Paoli of the First Alaskans Institute.
The AFN Convention is also a fun, exciting time. People shop for school clothes and supplies. They buy gifts at the AFN Arts and Crafts fair. The AFN convention is the state’s largest gathering. That makes it a good place to visit with relatives and old friends, and to make new friends.