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Gathering of tribal leaders and representatives to be held in Fairbanks

By Charles Enoch / KYUK 9:31 AM November 12, 2016

Tribal leaders, elders, representatives and others will gather in Fairbanks to discuss tribal governance, capacity building and self-governance among other topics in the modern political climate, according to a report published by KYUK Public Media.

The first Tribal Government Symposium will be held next week starting on Nov. 15, hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Rural and Community Development, the University of Arizona Native Nations Institute, the Tanana Chiefs Conference and the Casey Family Programs.

Jessica Black, assistant professor of tribal management, Alaska Native studies and rural development, said there are many relevant topics to be discussed at the gathering.

“Tribal child welfare, governance and wellness, public safety, constitutions… so all the topics that tribes deal with every single day will be represented at the conference,” Black said.

Not only that, Black said that the symposium will also include important topics that could help tribal governments better serve their people.

“And a lot of the conference is around nation building, which basically refers to how Native nations increase their capacity for self determination, community sustainability and economic development,” Black explained.

Black said attendees can expect big players and experts at the two-day gathering, including important tribal leaders and elders.

“Some of the keynotes are Stephen Cornell from the Native Nations Institute, Richard Peterson from the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and Jack Trope from the Casey Family Programs,” Black said.

While there are many topics for conference attendees to choose from, the main purpose of the symposium is to hear from Alaska’s more than 200 tribes about the issues facing their tribal communities and examine how healthy tribes can benefit all Alaskans. Black said that she hopes tribes will answer the call and participate.

“(We) would love to have representation from across the state,” Black said. “We know that tribal governments and tribal communities are working hard everyday, and we want to hear from these communities and people, and we want to honor the work that they do.”

This will be the second symposium hosted by UAF. Last year the topic was on co-management of resources.

More than 200 tribal representatives, elders, leaders, and the like are expected to take part in the Tribal Government Symposium Tuesday, Nov. 15 through Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks. Doors open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on all three days.

For more information click here.

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