Nome native Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle is ready to give her speech as co-keynote speaker for the 50th annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Fairbanks. She will be joining Emil Notti on stage Thursday morning to give their joint keynote address.
Alvanna-Stimpfle says it’s an honor to share the stage with a leader who was present at the start of AFN conventions.
“To talk about our future and where we are going, it’s an honor, because I am truly standing on the shoulders of giants, of leaders in our native community,” said Alvanna-Stimpfle. “The thoughts and the opportunities that I have as a young person, we are truly blessed to have that because of all the work they’ve done.”
The theme for the 50th convention is Reflect, Refresh, Renew. According to the AFN website, attendees will reflect on the challenges, innovations, and successes of the Alaska Native community since AFN’s founding in 1966; refresh their collective accomplishments and aspirations; and renew their commitment to enriching the future of Alaska Native peoples.
Alvanna-Stimpfle says she is humbled to be in a position that allows her to help preserve King Islanders’ language and dancing.
“So, as chief of the tribe, my purpose has been to bring our Council and our families together in a way that’s meaningful, supportive, and loving, so that we can be a strong community again,” stated Alvanna-Stimpfle.
Besides spending her time handling her responsibilities as chief, Alvanna-Stimpfle is executive director for the Inuit Arctic Business alliance, participates in regular yoga classes, and meditates. She says lately, she has been doing a lot of meditating and praying to prepare for the AFN convention, in addition to writing her speech.
“And there’s certainly a lot of prayer, prayer that I can articulate the justice our native community deserves, so it’s a collective process, because it’s an honor to speak on behalf of Alaska Native people. So, it’s not something I’m doing alone; it’s something I’m doing with many of my friends and leaders across the state, who have mentored me and guided me in the right way,” mentioned the co-keynote speaker.
This year’s AFN convention will commence Thursday morning and last until Saturday afternoon. Alvanna-Stimpfle is scheduled to give her co-keynote address Thursday morning at 10:40.