Should Alaska Native elders be exempt from fishing bans?

Kyle Hopkins
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Ursula Paniyak-Irvin's dolls are supporting the Obama/Biden ticket at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Sam Herman, from Nunavak Island, at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Robyn Jack and her son Allen Jack at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Mike James and his daughter Linzi James at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Charles Powell and his grandson Alaino Devoe at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Jaida Bennett, Tiffany Bennett and Dinah Bennet at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Robyn Jack and her son Allen Jack at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Delegates representing Calista Corporation and the Association of Village Council Presidents consider language of an amendment during a brief recess Saturday morning. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News AFN delegate Jason Bourdukofsky speaks at Saturday morning's session. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Joseph Chaimegalrea of Napakiak speaks at Saturday morning's session to consider resolutions. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Frank Peterson Sr., president of the Indigenous Justice Alliance, reads draft resolutions at Saturday's AFN session. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Elizabeth Hensley, right, talks with others at the Saturday's AFN session. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Carmaleeda Estrada passes out papers to delegates at Saturday morning's AFN session. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Elia Epchook spoke Saturday morning about issues related to homelessness. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Spear dancers with the Mt. St. Elias Dancers of Yakutat perform during Quyana Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday evening October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
An invitational dance draws spectators onstage to join the Nunagiaq Dancers of Wainwright during Quyana Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday evening October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
Audience members join the Tanacross Dance Group onstage for an invitational dance during Quyana Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday evening October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
An invitational dance draws spectators onstage to join the Nunagiaq Dancers of Wainwright during Quyana Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday evening October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Siberia Madsen, 2, takes in the scene from the lap of relative Bobby Piscoya as the Sivuqaq Dancers of Anchorage perform pieces based on their St. Lawrence Island heritage to start the day at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday morning October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News The Sivuqaq Dancers of Anchorage perform pieces based on their St. Lawrence Island heritage to start the day at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday morning October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Ginna Walluk and the Sivuqaq Dancers of Anchorage perform pieces based on their St. Lawrence Island heritage to start the day at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday morning October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Karen Gardner of Anchorage joins in on an invitational dance as the Sivuqaq Dancers of Anchorage perform pieces based on their St. Lawrence Island heritage to start the day at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday morning October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. "It's fun!" declared Gardner.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News An invitational dance brings some people out of their seats as the Sivuqaq Dancers of Anchorage perform pieces based on their St. Lawrence Island heritage to start the day at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday morning October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Family and friends join Bernice Joseph of Fairbanks onstage as she is honored as the Citizen of the Year at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Co-chair Sen. Albert Kookesh introduces her at right.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Delegates applaud a keynote address by Carol Wren of Cook Inlet Tribal Council at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Carol Wren of Cook Inlet Tribal Council addresses delegates at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News First Lady Sandy Parnell delivers an impassioned plea to work to stop sex trafficking in Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Delegates listen to an address by First Lady Sandy Parnell at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Gov. Sean Parnell addresses the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Gov. Sean Parnell, right, and First Lady Sandy Parnell introduce Mary Jane Fate of Fairbanks as the recipient of the Shirley Demientieff Award for advocacy on behalf of Alaska Native women and children at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Fate is originally from Rampart.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Gov. Sean Parnell and First Lady Sandy Parnell applaud after presenting Mary Jane Fate of Fairbanks with the Shirley Demientieff Award for advocacy on behalf of Alaska Native women and children at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Fate is originally from Rampart.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News AFN President Julie Kitka presents Gov. Sean Parnell and First Lady Sandy Parnell with a carved kayaker artwork at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News AFN co-chair Sen. Albert Kookesh introduces honored guests in the audience at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News President Julie Kitka addresses delegates at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii receives a standing ovation honoring him for his many years of leadership and collaboration on Native issues in his state and in Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Akaka, who first went to Washington, D.C. as a Congressman in 1976, will wind up his 35-year congressional career in January 2013.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Family and friends join Bernice Joseph of Fairbanks onstage as she addresses the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention after receiving the Citizen of the Year award Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Her husband Stewart is at right. Joseph, born in Tanana and raised in Nulato, is vice chancellor for rural, community and Native education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Battling pancreatic cancer, Joseph told delegates she is Òfighting the good fight.Ó
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Peter Totemoff of Olympia, Wa. records video for friend Philip Akelkok, Sr., of Ekwok, right, as Citizen of the Year Bernice Joseph addresses the gathering at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News U. S. Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii offers an effusive Mahalo Lui Noa thank you to delegates for honoring him at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Bill Martin of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Frieda Westman of the Alaska Native Sisterhood prepare to address the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Delegates watche a video commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Alaska Native Brotherhood at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Dr. Ted Mala, left, visits with U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News James Gregg of Kotzebue and Sells, Az. listens to a presentation at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News President Julie Kitka views a video presentation at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Peter Squartsoff of Kodiak watches a video commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Alaska Native Brotherhood at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Bill Martin speaks as the Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Alaska Native Sisterhood are honored at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Delegates greet and visit at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 in the lobby of the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Delegates visit in the lobby at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Frieda Westman of the Alaska Native Sisterhood appears onscreen at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Roseanne Voyles of Southcentral Foundation explains to youth how much sugar is in soft drinks at the Rethink Your Drink booth at the Alaska Native Medical Center Health Fair held at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Delegates leave messages explaining why they choose to be tobacco free at the Alaska Native Medical Center Health Fair held at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Ossie Kairaiuak, Stephen Blanchett and Karina Moeller of Pamyua greet fans while promoting their new CD and an upcoming tour to Bethel, Kotzebue, Dillingham and Nome at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Gary Murphy of Anchorage looks to sell his Yup'ik windmaker mask at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Earrings are offered at the Alaska Native Customary Art Show at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Delegates greet each other coming and going at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Youngsters peer over the railing at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Phillip Blanchett of Pamyua, left, greets fans as the group promotes a new CD and an upcoming tour at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Karina Moeller, right, shares a hug with Angela Gonzalez as Pamyua promotes a new CD and an upcoming concert tour in rural Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News William Bean and Amber Walters of ASRC Energy Services encourage delegates to Get Out the Native Vote at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Smoked salmon from Chignik is offered for sale outside the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News T-shirts and pickled sockeye salmon from Chignik are offered for sale outside the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Ursula Paniyak-Irvin's dolls are supporting the Obama/Biden ticket at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Sam Herman, from Nunavak Island, at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Robyn Jack and her son Allen Jack at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Mike James and his daughter Linzi James at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Charles Powell and his grandson Alaino Devoe at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Jaida Bennett, Tiffany Bennett and Dinah Bennet at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Robyn Jack and her son Allen Jack at AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives continued on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, AK. A panel discussion with native leaders and Alaska Congressional members is going on upstairs and the art and craft sale is taking place on the bottom floor. 121019
Bob Hallinen
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Delegates representing Calista Corporation and the Association of Village Council Presidents consider language of an amendment during a brief recess Saturday morning. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News AFN delegate Jason Bourdukofsky speaks at Saturday morning's session. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Joseph Chaimegalrea of Napakiak speaks at Saturday morning's session to consider resolutions. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Frank Peterson Sr., president of the Indigenous Justice Alliance, reads draft resolutions at Saturday's AFN session. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Elizabeth Hensley, right, talks with others at the Saturday's AFN session. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Carmaleeda Estrada passes out papers to delegates at Saturday morning's AFN session. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Elia Epchook spoke Saturday morning about issues related to homelessness. Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Alaska Federation of Natives delegates considered draft convention resolutions in a session at the AFN annual convention on Saturday morning, October 20, 2012.
Marc Lester
Spear dancers with the Mt. St. Elias Dancers of Yakutat perform during Quyana Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday evening October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
An invitational dance draws spectators onstage to join the Nunagiaq Dancers of Wainwright during Quyana Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday evening October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
Audience members join the Tanacross Dance Group onstage for an invitational dance during Quyana Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday evening October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
An invitational dance draws spectators onstage to join the Nunagiaq Dancers of Wainwright during Quyana Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday evening October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Siberia Madsen, 2, takes in the scene from the lap of relative Bobby Piscoya as the Sivuqaq Dancers of Anchorage perform pieces based on their St. Lawrence Island heritage to start the day at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday morning October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News The Sivuqaq Dancers of Anchorage perform pieces based on their St. Lawrence Island heritage to start the day at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday morning October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Ginna Walluk and the Sivuqaq Dancers of Anchorage perform pieces based on their St. Lawrence Island heritage to start the day at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday morning October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Karen Gardner of Anchorage joins in on an invitational dance as the Sivuqaq Dancers of Anchorage perform pieces based on their St. Lawrence Island heritage to start the day at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday morning October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. "It's fun!" declared Gardner.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News An invitational dance brings some people out of their seats as the Sivuqaq Dancers of Anchorage perform pieces based on their St. Lawrence Island heritage to start the day at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday morning October 19, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Family and friends join Bernice Joseph of Fairbanks onstage as she is honored as the Citizen of the Year at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Co-chair Sen. Albert Kookesh introduces her at right.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Delegates applaud a keynote address by Carol Wren of Cook Inlet Tribal Council at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Carol Wren of Cook Inlet Tribal Council addresses delegates at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News First Lady Sandy Parnell delivers an impassioned plea to work to stop sex trafficking in Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Delegates listen to an address by First Lady Sandy Parnell at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Gov. Sean Parnell addresses the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Gov. Sean Parnell, right, and First Lady Sandy Parnell introduce Mary Jane Fate of Fairbanks as the recipient of the Shirley Demientieff Award for advocacy on behalf of Alaska Native women and children at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Fate is originally from Rampart.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Gov. Sean Parnell and First Lady Sandy Parnell applaud after presenting Mary Jane Fate of Fairbanks with the Shirley Demientieff Award for advocacy on behalf of Alaska Native women and children at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Fate is originally from Rampart.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News AFN President Julie Kitka presents Gov. Sean Parnell and First Lady Sandy Parnell with a carved kayaker artwork at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News AFN co-chair Sen. Albert Kookesh introduces honored guests in the audience at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News President Julie Kitka addresses delegates at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii receives a standing ovation honoring him for his many years of leadership and collaboration on Native issues in his state and in Alaska at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Akaka, who first went to Washington, D.C. as a Congressman in 1976, will wind up his 35-year congressional career in January 2013.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Family and friends join Bernice Joseph of Fairbanks onstage as she addresses the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention after receiving the Citizen of the Year award Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Her husband Stewart is at right. Joseph, born in Tanana and raised in Nulato, is vice chancellor for rural, community and Native education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Battling pancreatic cancer, Joseph told delegates she is Òfighting the good fight.Ó
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Peter Totemoff of Olympia, Wa. records video for friend Philip Akelkok, Sr., of Ekwok, right, as Citizen of the Year Bernice Joseph addresses the gathering at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News U. S. Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii offers an effusive Mahalo Lui Noa thank you to delegates for honoring him at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Erik Hill

The state's largest Alaska Native organization will consider a slew of proposals on hunting and fishing rights this week in Anchorage, including a plan that would allow Native elders to fish for food when and wherever they want.

That proposal, authored by the Bethel-based Association of Village Council Presidents, is among 43 resolutions to be considered as the Alaska Federation of Natives convention resumes Friday.

Each year, AFN delegates vote on dozens of resolutions meant to signal the collective political will of Alaska's Native people. Villagers from across the state are reviewing proposals to expand low-cost Internet access in the Bush, demand more federal funding and launch term-limits for AFN leaders. A vote is planned for Saturday afternoon.

Criminal charges and illegal fishing citations levied against Lower Kuskokwim River subsistence fishermen in June are the talk of the convention.

"This was a tough year, especially for king salmon runs," Gov. Sean Parnell told a crowd of hundreds Thursday morning. "I've been very concerned about how some of you, how some of our neighbors, how many Alaskans are going to struggle through this winter."

Parnell said the state was pursuing federal disaster funding for communities hammered by low salmon runs and urged convention-goers to attend a symposium next week on the science of king salmon returns.

After the governor's speech, AVCP President Myron Naneng said he urged Parnell to drop all charges against the Kuskokwim River subsistence fishermen.

Facing fines and in some case criminal misdemeanors, more than 20 of the defendants have refused to plead guilty. Some said in interviews that they fished in protest of the summer ban on king salmon fishing, believing it to be unfair to village families.

"We're going to keep the court system busy," Naneng said he told the governor.

U.S. Rep. Don Young told the crowd that representatives of Yukon River villages ought to be the ones who manage king salmon on that river. "You're the only one that loses anything" when the salmon returns are low, Young said.

"Whatever you do when it comes to subsistence, don't say, 'Well, let the federal government do it,' " he told the crowd. "You'll lose all your rights. If you want to manage game, ask to manage it on your own lands."

AFN resolutions are non-binding. As an expression of the convention, they generally call for action or policy changes on the part of the state or federal government. Other proposals on hunting and fishing rights being considered by convention delegates this week would:

• Amend the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act to exempt elders from subsistence fishing bans. The rule would apply to members of federally recognized tribes who are 65 years old and older. Fishing closures make Alaska Native elders depressed, violate their aboriginal rights and even put their lives at risk, Naneng's association argued in the proposal.

• Urge Alaska Natives to vote in favor of convening a constitutional convention on the Nov. 6 ballot. This resolution, proposed by the AFN board, is aimed at amending the state constitution to provide a fishing and hunting priority for Alaska Natives and expand the number of state legislators to ensure more Natives and rural Alaskans win seats in Juneau.

• Call for Congressional oversight hearings on Alaska Native hunting and fishing rights.

• Revise the U.S.-Canada salmon treaty that ensures a minimum number of kings make it up the Yukon River and reach spawning grounds in Canada.

• Urge the state to pay for research on "disastrously declining salmon stocks."

TERM LIMITS

Yet another resolution at this year's AFN convention strikes at long-simmering tension over how the federation is organized and who holds the power.

A proposal submitted by Glennallen-based Ahtna Inc. calls for two-year term limits for AFN co-chairs. It follows a resolution passed in 2009 that sought a reorganization of the federation by 2011.

In September, regional corporation Doyon Limited posted an item on its company Facebook page saying it and other organizations might withhold their AFN dues if the calls to restructure the federation were not addressed, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported at the time. The Facebook post was later deleted, the newspaper said.

In his convention speech, Young urged AFN delegates to keep infighting private.

"Stay together. ... That's what got the Alaska Native land claims passed," Young said. "If you have a problem, don't go public, work it out."

 

TOP HONORS

Bernice Joseph, Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, won the AFN Citizen of the Year award Thursday. Joseph is originally from Nulato, said federation co-chairman Al Kookesh.

Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, a retiring Democrat who is a featured speaker at this year's convention, won the Denali award for service to Alaska by a non-Alaska Native. (Akaka is a Hawaiian Native.) Gov. Parnell awarded Mary Jane Fate, an Athabascan born in Rampart, with the Shirley Demientieff Award for advocacy on behalf of Alaska Native women and children.

 

 

Read The Village, the ADN's blog about rural Alaska, at adn.com/thevillage. Twitter updates: twitter.com/adn_kylehopkins. Call Kyle Hopkins at 257-4334 or email him at khopkins@adn.com.


By KYLE HOPKINS
khopkins@adn.com
Contact Kyle Hopkins at or on