Allison Warden is an Inupiat performance artist based in Anchorage, with deep family ties to the village of Kaktovik on Alaska's Arctic coast. She commands a strong presence at the Alaska Federation of Native's Elders and Youth conference, with her outgoing demeanor and bright yellow and pink kuspuk. Alaska Dispatch caught up with her in a breakout session focused on "finding your voice through rap."
Hosted by Rosemary Berg, Miss WEIO 2012, the session focused mainly on respect, including self-respect, respect for elders, and respect for nature. Through rap, the participants were encouraged to find their own voice and use that as a vehicle for expressing cultural respect.
Warden, who goes by her rap name AKU-MATU when she's rapping, used her time in the session to freestyle rap about the respect she feels for herself, her culture and elders, and what the Elders and Youth conference means to her.