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AFN: Alaska's Native Voice

Alaska’s Native Voice (ANV) is a three-part special, which airs annually in October during KNBA’s gavel-to-gavel broadcast of the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) convention. The program, in its eighth year, features engaging discussions on issues facing Alaska Native people. ANV also highlights the First Alaskans Institute’s Elders and Youth Conference, which is held each year in the days prior to AFN. The one-hour show includes interviews with guests and conference attendees.  ANV is hosted and produced by National Native News anchor Antonia Gonzales and Reveal reporter Emily Schwing.

Program Descriptions & Audio

Interior Alaska-
People from across Alaska gathered in Fairbanks in October for a week of events to discuss issues facing Native communities. Many who attend the First Alaskans Institute’s Elders and Youth Conference and the Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention often refer to the week as a holiday-Native New Year. People meet to address challenges to maintain their way of life, protect the earth and explore ways to overcome social ills. But, it’s a time to celebrate Native culture, identity, history and pave a way for future generations.
Guests:Rochelle Adams, Indigenous advocate; Nanieezh Peter, Student and youth advocate; Travis Cole, Community member and advocate

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Healing from Violence-
Families, grassroots leaders, tribal officials and advocates are among those raising awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous people to keep the issue in the eyes of the public.  Lack of data and numerous contributing factors such as high rates of violence against Native women have led tribal leaders and policy makers to call MMIW a crisis in the United States. State lawmakers are studying the issue and looking at federal legislation as a means to help address some of the challenges in Alaska. Families and advocates are not giving up on efforts to find the missing and seek justice for their murdered relatives.

Guests: Cynthia Ericson, Child advocate; Jody Potts, Consultant and former Village Public Safety Officer

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Development and the Environment-
Mining, logging, natural gas development and drilling for oil–the conversation about developing Alaska’s natural resources is not new. The state is well known for its wealth of resources. But, the debate over how to develop those resources responsibly in a state where climate change is wreaking havoc on infrastructure and a traditional way of life is heating up. Some people see development as a way to create more employment opportunities and stronger state and local economies. Others fear irreparable damage to the lands, waters and animal populations that have sustained Alaska Native people for thousands of years.

Guests: PJ Simon, Plumber, hunting guide, Doyon, Limited; Esau Sinnok, Earth protector and college student; Peter Evon, CEO at Orutsararmiut Traditional Native Council

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Antonia Gonzales is a member of the Navajo Nation and grew up in Arizona and New Mexico. She is the Anchor and Producer of the award winning nationally syndicated radio program National Native News, which airs on tribal and public radio stations across the United States and Canada; covering social, economic and cultural issues, which impact Indigenous people worldwide. Antonia has worked for Koahnic Broadcast Corporation for nearly a decade. She started as an Associate Producer for KBC's nationally syndicated talk show Native America Calling. Before joining the Koahnic family, she was a one-woman-band television reporter for a CBS affiliate in Southeastern New Mexico where she covered two counties and followed stories such as large drug busts, cave rescue trainings and the famous annual bat flight at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.