Senior Voice Staff 

Elders & Youth Conference, Oct. 13-16 in Fairbanks


October 1, 2019

Celebrate the critical importance and diversity of our Alaska Native languages at the First Alaskans Institute 36th Annual Elders & Youth Conference, Oct. 13-16 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. This year’s theme, “Qaneryararput Yugtun Piniqerput” (Yup’ik) and “Qaneryararput Cugtun Kayuqerput” (Cup’ik) loosely translates into English as “Language is Our Superpower.” As indigenous peoples alive today, we get to be part of the generation who keep the fires of our languages alive, and that makes us stronger.

Elders & Youth starts with a Warming of the Hands session on Oct. 13. The following three days, Oct. 14-16, are filled with interactive, dynamic plenary speakers including keynote speaker Elder Tugidam Ayagaa Sally Swetzof, hands-on Living & Loving Our Cultures workshops, and Community Engagement workshops covering relevant community issues. Men’s, Women’s and LGBTQA+2S Houses honor Native peoples’ ways of sharing through dialogue, creating healing spaces and by utilizing rites of passage knowledge.

The 8th Annual Chin’an: A Night of Cultural Celebration, from 7 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 14, will feature performances by Diomede Dancers, Di’haii Gwich’in Dancers, Fairbanks Native Association Potlatch Dancers, and other special performances from Elders & Youth attendees. Tickets are $5 at the door but are free for Elders.

Those who are not able to join in person are invited to watch the statewide broadcast on Oct. 14 and 15 beginning at 8:30 a.m. on GCI Channel 1, HD 907, ARCS, 360 North, and online at Please note, on the final day Oct. 16, broadcasting will only be on the website at

Registration is available online and onsite registration will be from from noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 13 and at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 14 at the Carlson Center. The registration fee is $55 for youth, chaperones and other adult participants. The fee is waived for Elders.

The Elders & Youth Conference is followed immediately by the Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention, also at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. For information, visit


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