First Alaskans Institute will hold discussion on statehood

Posted: Thursday, December 04, 2008

First Alaskans Institute will host a discussion series on Alaska Native perspectives of statehood, "Looking Back, Moving Forward: Alaska Native Perspectives on 50 Years of Statehood," from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Treadwell Room of the Baranof Hotel.

Discussions for this series will be held in different regions of the state in order to stimulate conversations around the impact statehood has had and continues to have on Alaska Natives.

The discussions will begin with three presenters setting the stage for the conversation: Byron I. Mallott, a Tlingit and senior fellow for the Alaska Native Policy Center; Vic Fischer, professor emeritus for the Institute for Social and Economic Research; and Liz Cheney, a Tlingit/Haida and director of the Alaska Native Policy Center.

Mallott will provide an Alaska Native perspective, Fischer will offer his perspective as an original delegate at the Constitutional Convention and Cheney will present a perspective of the younger generation.

The audience is encouraged to participate and share their thoughts on statehood as Alaska reaches 50. Through these discussions the Institute hopes to learn from the Native people around the state how they feel about statehood, the benefits and potential shortcomings, and what people see the next 50 years bringing for Alaska Natives.

The discussion will be Web cast so viewers can watch and send in questions for the panelists. Please contact Krista Lamp at (907) 677-1700 to RSVP for the event and the Web cast to ensure the Institute has enough connections available to those that wish to participate online. For more information on the Web cast, visit www.firstalaskans.org.

The Institute received a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum to partially fund this project. Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska Humanities Forum partnered to create a competitive grant program for projects that commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Alaska Statehood. The Alaska Humanities Forum received a $1 million grant from Rasmuson Foundation to launch Alaska's Statehood Experience. As a recipient, the Institute is using these funds to explore the history of statehood from an Alaska Native perspective, the underlying issues that may still need work, and what the next 50 years might bring.



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