Tanana Chiefs annual meeting kicks off with focus on land issues

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The city of Fairbanks has an influx of visitors this week for the Tanana Chiefs Conference annual meeting.
Representatives from 42 Native governments from Interior Alaska gathered downtown at the Westmark Hotel to start the annual meeting that brings thousands of visitors to Fairbanks.
Chief Victor Joseph led the welcoming sessions that included speeches from Mayor Kassel's Chief of Staff, Jim Williams, and City of Fairbanks Mayor, Jim Matherly.
In the afternoon sessions, the keynote speakers were Doctor Jessica Black from Fort Yukon and Nenana, and Julia Fisher-Salmon of Beaver and Chalkyitsik.
Representatives from the Native Congress of American Indians, Rural Alaska Public Safety, and the Alaska Federation of Natives finished the first day's events.
Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallot also stopped by to speak to and take questions from the audience before their trip to Minto.
Vice President of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, Julia Roberts-Hyslop, voiced some concerns to Walker regarding maintaining Ambler road.

Julia Roberts-Hyslop; Vice President - Tanana Chiefs Confrence>>"In our particular sub-region, Allakaket, and those people up there in Evansville, have been talking about their home lands and how they need to protect it. Yet we're spending money that we really don't have to try to build that road. So I'm asking you, why can't we put some of those moneys back towards fixing some of the roads that we already have in existence? You guys built the road... Well the state of Alaska built the road to Tanana, and we're having a hard time just trying to keep it safe for people to travel on. We don't want no accidents on that road. So those are some of the concerns that we have as citizens of the State of Alaska."