Alaska journalist discusses speeches from AFN day 1
The first day of the 2018 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention brought speeches from both Gov. Bill Walker and Alaska's new lieutenant governor, Valerie Davidson. It was Davidson's first speech since taking the office.
Walker spoke about the recent stepping down of Byron Mallott, as well as apologized for the state's treatment of Alaska Natives.
"There are only three governors, including Walker, who have done this; two in Kansas and one in Colorado," Trahant said. "So nationally, it's extraordinarily significant. Event more so in Alaska because Alaska Natives are so much a part of the state's culture and presence."
Walker also spoke about Byron Mallott, the lieutenant governor who stepped down this week after what the governor's office has called "inappropriate comments." Walker called Mallott his "brother" and "soul mate."
Trahant says reaction to the statement has underscored a profound sadness about the way Mallott's tenure ended.
"But I think that human aspect was important, with the governor to say that. And at the same time, both he and Lt. Gov Davidson talked about how there's no tolerance on issues involving women now, and that's a clear message they want to send."
"She was powerful," Trahant said of Davidson's speech. "I think a lot of people in that convention hall were thinking about her without the lieutenant part of the governor in her title, that this is a future candidate, because she was reaching out in a way that was very extraordinary."
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