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The Alaska Federation of Natives, which represents 191 federally recognized Alaska Native tribes and 11 regional corporations, has announced the date and theme of their annual convention. 

This year’s theme will be “Good Government, Alaskans Decide.” A release from AFN says the theme highlights “the challenges and opportunities the Native community and all Alaskans face, including responding to and recovering from the pandemic and resulting economic downturn.”

In St. Paul, Minnesota, leaders from the American Indian Movement of the Twin-Cities orchestrated and helped in the toppling of a Christopher Columbus statue on the state capitol grounds.

Videos of the event went viral, and helped initiate a conversation about what statues of Confederate war figures, as well as Columbus and others mean today.

In Alaska, the names of settlers and explorers can be found everywhere -- roads, cities and buildings and statues. All reminders of Alaska’s colonization and the impact it has had on the Indigenous population.

In what may be a first for the municipality of Anchorage, three Indigenous women will serve on the city’s Public Safety Advisory Commission.

The resolution passed unopposed at a meeting Tuesday, June 23, 2020, of the Anchorage Municipal Assembly.

The Public Safety Advisory Commission examines public safety issues and advises the mayor and assembly. It also provides input from various emergency service organizations -- to identify problems that may arise.

One short-selling financial firm says the Donlin Gold Mine is too expensive to build

Jun 23, 2020

A recent report from a financial research firm says that the proposed Donlin Gold mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta will never be built. The mine could be one of the biggest gold producers in the world if completed, but the research firm says that it costs too much to actually build. But that firm can make a lot of money off of its report, and one of the mining companies strongly disagrees with its conclusion. 

China has stopped imports from European salmon suppliers due to fears of a connection between salmon imports and coronavirus, according to a report by Reuters. State-run newspapers in China reported the coronavirus was discovered on chopping boards used for imported salmon at a market in Beijing.

Sealaska Heritage honors longtime Juneau photographer Brian Wallace

Jun 22, 2020

During Celebration this week, Sealaska Heritage Institute recognized longtime Juneau photographer Brian Wallace with an award.

Locals likely know him and his work. He photographed the community as a staff photographer for The Juneau Empire over three decades. Now independent, he also shot every single Celebration, the weeklong cultural event that happens every two years in Juneau that began in 1982.

Iḷisaġvik College in Utqiaġvik awarded its first bachelor’s degree. It’s the first Tribal college in Alaska to do so.

Anchorage resident Darian Danner received her first bachelor’s degree from the University of Anchorage. But when Iḷisaġvik College offered a tuition waiver to Alaska Native and American Indian students, getting her second degree was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

For Gov. Dunleavy, COVID-19 evokes century-old family loss to the flu in rural Alaska

Jun 19, 2020

As Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy faced his first set of decisions around the COVID-19 pandemic, a handful of memories swirled in his mind — including a century-old one that was unique to rural Alaska.

Dunleavy grew up in Pennsylvania. But his wife, Rose, is Inupiaq, raised in the Northwest Alaska village of Noorvik, and her mother once told Dunleavy a story that connects to the state’s traumatizing experience in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

Doctors, other providers ask Gov. Dunleavy to mandate wearing masks

Jun 18, 2020

A group of 167 doctors and other health care providers have asked Gov. Mike Dunleavy to mandate that Alaskans wear face masks in businesses where keeping at least six feet away from others isn’t realistic. 

The governor isn’t making the change for now. 

Federal court opinion a win for Alaska’s summer king season

Jun 17, 2020

Commercial fishing for king salmon in Southeast Alaska will likely open on schedule this summer. That’s after a federal judge denied a request for an injunction to keep the season closed. 

Magistrate Judge Michelle Peterson, of the US District Court of Western Washington, ruled on Tuesday (6-9-20) that an injunction petition filed by a Washington state environmental organization to protect killer whales circumvents established fisheries law.

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