Ts’iłq’u Nech’ghidnu (We are working as one): Catalyzing Change Webinar Series

Co-hosted by Native Peoples Action, The Alaska Center, Native Movement, AKPIRG and Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition. Artwork and Dena’ina translation by Joel Isaak.

Webinar #3: Challenging Discrimination Through Policy

Alaska was the first territory or State to pass an anti-discrimination law—how have we been doing since then? This discussion is about the history of non-discrimination in policy. We heard from speakers what it looks like to stand up for the things we believe in, even in the face of great adversity. We dived into discrimination in the policing and justice system, housing, LGBTQ+, and other intersecting issues. This is part of a larger series, Ts’iłq’u Nech’ghidnu (‘We are working as one’ in Dena’ina), focused on catalyzing change and shaping policy. Panelists: Marvin Roberts Anchorage Assembly Member Meg Zalatel Besse Odom, Alaska Poor People’s Campaign

Webinar 2: Voting is our SuperPower

Understanding our history and the hard fought battle for our individual voting rights is an important first step in acknowledging the power each one of us holds to lead our democracy in a direction that is truly representative of Alaska. Our ancestors knew we needed a voice in our elections and fought for our rights to vote for who will be representing us, speaking on our behalf, and making policy decisions that will reflect upon their constituencies. The decisions made by elected officials directly affect the health and wellbeing of our communities and our ways of life. By not voting we are giving up our power, our collective voice of Alaskans and handing it over to a select few. The democratic system does not work if we do not participate. Our voices NEED to be heard if we want to make collective change.

This webinar explored the history of our voting rights and identify the continued inequalities we are still facing today. We discussed the gaps in our voting system and looked to our fellow Alaskans to help identify, ask questions, and learn from each other. In 2020, some of our communities still face voter suppression, and now, more than ever, we need to address voting reforms that will truly allow for each Alaskan to cast their ballot, to make their voice heard, and to be safe while voting.

Guest speakers: Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Alaska Black Caucus Vice President Leroy Williams, Bayinna Kerah and Misty Too Oozhrii Nickoli. 

Webinar 1: Policy and People Power.

Together we have the power to influence real policy change for our communities and people. Systems of governance work for us – so how do we break down those barriers between policy procedures and the needs of our people?

In this introductory webinar, we unpacked the meaning of “policy:”
What is it, who creates it, and how do we influence policy that supports our values? We welcomed policy maker Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson and policy advocate/community leader Elizabeth La quen náay Medicine Crow from First Alaskans Institute. Together we’ll demystify the process of shaping policy and inspire us through personal stories of positive change.