FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The 16th of October 2019 marked the closing day of the Elders and Youth Conference at the Carlson Center.
The final day was focused heavily on communication between Elders and Youth, dedicating an hour just focusing Men, Women and LGBTQAI2S-PLUS.
Youth MC's Koot Xheech of the youth health services non-profit Kawerak Wellness, and Henrik Brandt, public policy fellow with First Alaskans, spoke more about how much the event means to the community.
"It's a wonderful indigenous gathering of folks from across the state that focuses on this knowledge exchange between our youth and elders and how to strengthen our communities and where we need support and just having that communication across the state and across all different age groups so it brings attention to things that, like elders might not think of things, that youth do," said Xheech.
"Just to go through that healing process of Elders going through the boarding school era, and then the historic trauma that follows. It's inter-generational trauma passed on and I feel like this gathering is a place of healing and revitalization of our cultures," added Brandt.
Brandt said he is most looking forward to the dancing, "Natives Got Talent" and meeting new people and connecting with other members of the state at AFN. A live interactive poll about the conference was held on stage asking attendees about their affiliated tribes and orientations.
The conference finished off with a public voting on the contents of the draft resolutions for the First Alaskans Institute including topics such as climate change, representing diverse Alaskan culture in schools, clean water protection, the allowance to allow non-residents equal opportunity to hunt and establishing safe overnight centers for children.
As the final day came to a close at the Elders and Youth conference, the arena still buzzed with excitement for the upcoming AFN beginning Thursday, October 17th.
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