Jennifer Canfield, KTOO - Juneau

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Jennifer Canfield is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.
The Dena’ina Convention Center concourse. (Photo illustration by Jennifer Canfield/KTOO)

Thousands travel from around the state to attend the Elders and Youth conference and the Alaska Federation of Natives convention every year. The week is considered by many as one of celebration — this year was different. Download Audio

It started as a rumor. Democratic lawmakers and some education advocates have heard about it. That there are new ideas for changing how the state pays for education isn’t a surprise. That this cost-saving proposal could close 60 schools across the state is. Download Audio

The Alaska Women’s Legal Rights handbook was first published more than 30 years ago. The latest edition, which was released last month, is 240 pages long and includes information on victim’s rights, employment, reproductive rights, safety planning and more. Download Audio

A man committed suicide at the Dena'ina convention center during the final hour of the AFN annual convention on Saturday. Anthony Chouette, 49, climbed over the third floor railing and jumped to his death.

Gov. Bill Walker says he’d “love for Alaska to be the first state without homelessness.” With a little inspiration from the state of Utah, some are hopeful that could become reality. Download Audio

Gov. Bill Waker announced Wednesday the creation of an 11-member tribal advisory council. Download Audio

IndiGenius — a play on the word indigenous — is an offering of afternoon workshops at the First Alaskans Institute’s Elders and Youth Conference this week. Download Audio

The 32nd annual Elders and Youth conference begins today in Anchorage. Hundreds of Alaska Natives, young and old, will meet over the next two-and-a-half days to learn about and discuss a diverse set of issues. This year’s theme is “Not in our smokehouse!”

The Office on Violence Against Women this week launched a website aimed at helping colleges and universities deal with sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campus. The office, which is in the U.S. Department of Justice, calls the site a “comprehensive online clearinghouse.” Download Audio

Law enforcement must uphold tribal protection orders the same as it does state protective orders, regardless of whether the order has been registered with the state, the attorney general announced in an opinion issued Thursday. The AG also encouraged the legislature to amend Alaska law to bring it into compliance with the Violence Against Women Act. Download Audio

Gov. Bill Walker signed the Alaska Safe Children’s Act Thursday in Anchorage. The bill, also known as Erin’s Law, was controversial for some and stalled by a legislature that was at odds regarding the state’s fiscal situation. While the fight over Erin’s Law may be over, two lawmakers who worked on the bill say there is still more to be done.
Erin Merryn, a victim of sexual abuse as a child, testified last year in the House Education Committee on House Bill 233, also known as Erin’s Law. Rep. Geran Tarr is the bill sponsor. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Three U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would fund the implementation of Erin’s Law in states where it’s been adopted.

The State of Alaska still has not released all documents and emails related to the Alaska National Guard scandal. Alaska Public Media and the Alaska Dispatch News sued the state for the documents last October after the Parnell administration took four months to deny public record requests. Download Audio

Gov. Bill Walker named his new rural affairs adviser Tuesday at the Alaska Federation of Natives winter retreat in Kotzebue. Gerad Godfrey’s full title is “Senior Advisor on Rural Business and Intergovernmental Affairs” — a title that Godfrey says is meant to communicate that much of his work will focus on economic development in villages and bringing tribes to the table when the state consults local governments. Download Audio

Sen.-elect Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, plans to introduce a bill to move the Alaska Legislature to Anchorage. Stoltze isn’t proposing a full-on capital move. Instead, KTUU reports that the bulk of state government would remain in Juneau and legislative sessions would be held at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office. Download Audio

Rep. Cathy Muñoz (R- Juneau) will reintroduce a bill this legislative session to make discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. Download Audio

All three of the capital city’s state lawmakers handily won re-election Tuesday. Sen. Dennis Egan and Reps. Cathy Muñoz and Sam Kito III all got at least 60 percent of the votes counted in their respective races on Election Day.

The Federal Subsistence Board’s rural determination process will change, according to an announcement made at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention last month. Download Audio

There are numerous redactions in the released documents, and some of the requested documents are not included; many are still under review and are subject to release in the coming days.

The U.S. Department of Justice may intervene in an Alaska Supreme Court case concerning a non-Native couple’s adoption of an Alaska Native child. In September, the Native Village of Tununak lost its appeal against the State of Alaska and the adoptive couple. Download Audio