Liz Medicine Crow, president and CEO of First Alaskans Institute, and board chair Willie Hensley give opening remarks at the 33rd annual Elders and Youth conference in Fairbanks. (Photo by Jennifer Canfield)

Liz Medicine Crow, president and CEO of First Alaskans Institute, and board chair Willie Hensley give opening remarks at the 33rd annual Elders and Youth conference in Fairbanks. (Photo by Jennifer Canfield)

The First Alaskans Institute has announced the keynote speakers for the 2017 the 34th Elders and Youth Conference, which begins Oct. 16, just ahead of the Alaska Federation of Natives in Anchorage.

The elder keynote address will be given by Clare Swan of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, a long-time advocate for Native fishing rights in Cook Inlet and on the Kenai Peninsula.

Swan also served on the board of directors for CIRI, the regional corporation for Cook Inlet.

The youth keynote speaker is Chris Agragiiq Apassingok of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island.

The 16-year-old gained notoriety earlier this year when he landed a harpoon strike on a whale during a successful subsistence hunt.

An online backlash ensued after a radical animal rights activist criticized the teenager online, sparking national attention.

First Alaskans Institute also is hosting a private dance party with Canadian First Nation’s DJ group A Tribe Called Red during the conference. It’s the group’s second time performing in Alaska.

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