Alaska Federation of Natives Convention kicks off, Gov. Dunleavy protested during speech

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Alaska Native Federation Convention Began 10/17.

Governor Michael Dunleavy was invited to give a speech. He was momentarily interrupted by a protest in the crowd. (Carly Sjordal/KTVF)

The theme for this year's AFN convention is 'Good Government, Alaskan Driven.' The first day started out with speeches from various members of the Alaskan government and representatives from Alaska Native associations speaking to the theme.

"Good Government but what does good government mean to us? We all have our own opinions of what that is. For me, it’s about these women that are missing and murdered. To me it’s about the youth needing solid education. To me it’s about you. Making sure you are treated with liberty and justice for all,” said Victor Joseph, The Tanana Chief Conference's Chairman and Chief.

Governor Michael Dunleavy was invited to give a speech. He was momentarily interrupted by a protest in the crowd.

The protest was halted by Will Mayo the Co-Chair of AFN who mentioned to the crowd that Governor Dunleavy was invited to speak at the conference, saying, "He may approach things differently but we have a man here who is in a seat of authority and there are ways we can express our differences. When we gather together and we invite somebody into our house, we do it out of respect, and we do it with kindness, in the native way."

Governor Dunleavy addressed the backlash that he had been receiving. He also discussed his current thoughts about the budget situation.

"I've heard from many Alaskans from all over the state regarding the budget programs, services, and the future of our great state. I want you to know that I've not just heard what you've had to say, but have appreciated direct and, at times, difficult discussions that you have brought forth. There is no doubt we still have important decisions ahead of us," said Governor Dunleavy.

Governor Dunleavy then passed mic off to his wife, the First Lady of Alaska Rose Dunleavy, who discussed the issue of sexual assault within Alaska.

Two more speeches unpacking the theme of the conference were held, discussing different definitions of 'good government' and trying to inspire Alaskan Natives to fight for 'strong and credible solutions.'

AFN will be at held at the Carlson center until Saturday, October 19th.

This is Carly Sjordal, Reporting.

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