On the last day of the Elders and youth conference in Fairbanks participants took a break from workshops and presentations to have a discussion. The men and women were divided into their separate houses for a full two hours.
The First Alaskans Institute says the private conversations allowed both groups to reflect on the discussions over the past two days and to also go deeper. “Well traditionally in our culture you know with oral tradition it’s more of this connection between our youth and our elders and everyone in between so having these deep conversations that we need to as a community, it helps everybody,” said Jorie Paoli Organizational advancement director for First Alaskans Institute.
The conference brought together more than 650 people from all regions of Alaska. New elder and youth representatives were elected for 12 regions of the state before a closing ceremony on Wednesday.