AFN Postpones Annual Meeting To December So Its 5,000 Participants Won't Get Covid

Alaska Federation Of Natives Typically Hosts 5,000 People From All Over The State At Annual 3-Day Statewide October Event  AFN Convention, 2...

Alaska Federation Of Natives Typically Hosts 5,000 People From All Over The State At Annual 3-Day Statewide October Event 

AFN Convention, 2012  (Photo, Copper River Country Journal) 

With Alaska under the gun from the Delta variant, which is filling up hospitals, shutting down schools, and spreading to every community in the state, the Alaska Federation of Natives has made a decision.

AFN will not be holding its annual in-person 5,000-participant indoor meeting this October 21st through 23rd. The meeting is too dangerous. 

The organization represents almost all of the over 200 federally recognized tribes in Alaska, and 11 of the 12 regional corporations. The people who come to the AFN convention every autumn mingle, sell arts and crafts, and address important topics of interest to the entire rural Alaska Native community. 

Mask for sale at AFN by Dora Buchea of Slana. (Photo, Copper River Country Journal) 

But the pandemic, says AFN President Julie Kitka has made the popular event "high risk." She said "with delegates coming in from across Alaska" the pandemic makes an "in-person October gathering out of the question."

AFN says it's postponing the convention until December, with details to follow. 

Artists, elders and young people from all over the state enjoy the personal interactions at AFN. (Photo, Country Journal) 


This year, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) celebrates its 50th anniversary. 

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