Broadband in Spotlight at Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention

Native leaders to be offered tools to help high-speed Internet expansion in bush villages

Anchorage, AK – The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) annual convention takes place October 20 through 22 in Anchorage and Connect Alaska will be there to ensure the state’s most isolated populations have a voice in planning for the expansion of quality broadband service.

High-speed Internet is a critical modern lifeline to crucial services that support and improve quality of life. Telemedicine, educational opportunities, jobs, and government services including future Alaska PFD submissions all depend largely on broadband access, adoption, and use.

“Our Connect Alaska team is constantly travelling the state and there is truly no place in America in greater need of broadband access, adoption, and use than bush Alaska,” said Connect Alaska Project Coordinator Therese Dolan. “We’re excited to be a part of this year’s AFN convention because it is helping us put critical tools directly into the hands of village leaders that have the most to gain from the free services we offer.”

Connect Alaska is offering AFN attendees an hour-long workshop at four different times over the course of the AFN conference to discuss the challenges and concerns that face bush villages in the digital age. Attendees will learn about the community support, tech support, relationship advocacy, and other free resources that are available to them through the Connect Alaska initiative.

The Connect Alaska workshops are planned for the Tubughnenq’ Room of the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center. The sessions are scheduled for:

Thursday, October 20
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, Oct 22
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The AFN Convention is the largest representative annual gathering in the United States of any Native peoples. Delegates are elected on a population formula of one representative per 25 Native residents in the area and delegate participation rates at the annual convention typically exceed 95 percent. Each year the AFN Convention draws between 4,000–5,000 attendees.

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