AFN votes to oppose constitutional convention over concerns about impacts to key rural issues such as subsistence and education

By ADN: People wait in line to testify on a resolution during the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Resolutions at AFN’s annual conference at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022.

By Alex DeMarban

The state’s largest Alaska Native organization declared its opposition to a constitutional convention Saturday, saying rural Alaska could have the most to lose if a convention is called.

The Alaska Federation of Natives also called for a potential reduction in the amount of fish caught in Area M, a state-managed fishery off the Alaska Peninsula, in order to protect salmon runs that have crashed on the state’s two largest rivers, the Yukon and Kuskokwim.

And, after passing several other measures, the organization voted in executive session to endorse Lisa Murkowski in the U.S. Senate race and Rep. Mary Peltola for reelection to the U.S. House, after Peltola recently became the first Alaska Native elected to Congress.

The Alaska Federation of Natives took those stances as part of the resolution process that wrapped up its annual three-day convention on Saturday at Anchorage’s Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center. It was AFN’s first in-person conference since the pandemic curtailed large physical gatherings more than two years ago.

Read More: Anchorage Daily News