Conversations that Matter
The Alaska Native Dialogues on Racial Equity (ANDORE) is a project initiated by the Alaska Native Policy Center at First Alaskans Institute and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through the America Healing Initiative.
This statewide project – based on Indigenous principles and values – aims to initiate, foster, and grow racial healing by meaningfully engaging in community conversations across Alaska on race, racism and racial equity; seeking to move communities into a place of understanding, healing and growth.
A series of questions was provided to participants in the Alaska Native Dialogues on Racial Equity project to help facilitate discussions on the topic of racial inequity. They are provided here as a tool for those interested in hosting dialogues of their own.
Conversations that Matter: Envisioning Racial Equity in Alaska is a part of the Alaska Native Dialogues on Racial Equity, a statewide project that aims to initiate, foster, and grow racial healing by meaningfully engaging in conversations in communities across Alaska on race, racism and racial equity; in order to move people into a place of understanding, healing and growth.
Included here is a list of participants in that project the, including those involved in the broadcast program.
The Alaska Native Dialogues on Racial Equity approach to hosting conversations is born from the value of having meaningful and sometimes difficult conversations using indigenous principles and values.
Participants in individual dialogues were asked to approach the conversation within the parameters of the agreements chosen by the hosts.
Elizabeth Medicine Crow of the First Alaskans Institute helps Alaska address racism by promoting dialogue.
Suicide is difficult to talk about. But often, the conversations most worth having are the hardest to tackle. With Conversations that Matter: Teen Suicide in Alaska, we hope to take a step towards an open, statewide dialog on this important issue.
Following the live studio recording of the program, there was an opportunity for audience commentary and questions. Each video is a segment of that conversation.
Suicide is preventable. While each suicide or attempted suicide can be as unique as the person who experiences it, there are ways to address the multiple social, emotional, environmental and health factors involved. If every one of us learned about suicide, and the risk factors and protective factors involved, we would be better prepared to prevent suicide in our families and communities.
How can Alaskans learn about suicide and how it is prevented?
Alaskan youth want and need strong and healthy role models at home and in their communities. Substance abuse by parents and community leaders was identified by stakeholders young and old as a major contributor to suicide.
Alaskans seeking to make healthy choices and overcome addictions and negative behaviors can learn more about treatment and support services have a number of options.
The Winter Bear is a play about an abused, neglected Alaska Native teenager who decides suicide is his best option until Athabascan elder Sidney Huntington shows him how to use traditional culture to work through his despair and find his true voice.
We have performed for enthusiastic audiences in Fairbanks, Galena and Anchorage. After every show, people tell us heart-wrenching stories about the terrible toll suicide is extracting from their lives and beg us to bring the play’s message of hope to their communities. That’s what we’d like to do.
Suicide is a strong word. It can put a room to silence, or make the world roar. I’m one of who does both. I’m silent when it happens, but I’ll roar when I want to stop it. And right now, I’m roaring!
As Ms. Camai, my goal is to stop the rising rate of suicide among Alaska Natives with a touch of inspiration. And this is my first step into a path of conquering the negativities that affect my people. Let’s stop it together.
I dreamt about Stephen last night, my dearest friend from high school. He came to visit–back from the dead, but just for a little while, he said. In my dream, it seemed normal, but also very significant and powerful that he was allowed this quick visit with me. I cried as I hugged him and touched his face.