Blog #7 Alaska Cultures

There are a lot of different cultures that coexist in Alaska, sometimes many different cultures can be found in one place. I have interacted with native Alaskans, Samoans, Filipinos, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Koreans, Chinese; the amount of diversity is huge. Fairbanks is a great example of a place with diverse cultures. One reason I think that Alaska is so diverse, is because Alaska is very tourist friendly. I think once people come up here and visit they fall in love with Alaska. The largest culture is native Alaskans.

According to the article written by  Carol Barnhardt “The population of Alaska in 2000 was 626,932 people, nearly 103,000 of aboriginal ancestry”. Those natives include Eskimos, Indians, and Aleuts, who collectively refer to themselves as Alaska Natives. The large majority of non-Native people are migrants from the Lower 48 states, along with increasing numbers of Asian and Latin American immigrants. Although there are important differences among Alaska Native groups, most share with one another. they have a set of values and beliefs that includes: family and the community comes first over individual considerations, a belief in sharing versus accumulating, and a respect for spirituality and an interconnectedness with the natural world.

Each year, the AFN Convention draws between 4,000—5,000 attendees. The proceedings are broadcast live via television, radio and webcast reaching a diverse audience from Barrow to Ketchikan, from the Aleutian Chain to the Canadian border. During the convention, the entire state of Alaska is blanketed with discussion on current events and issues. International observers are present at most meetings, both exchanging information and learning from the Alaska Native experience. Not being of native decent I don’t know if I could attend. But since they broadcast it live anyone can watch and learn about the different cultures and what they are discussing. There are many other conventions that happen all over the state. The different cultures do this to share their values and connect with other cultures.

Ashley Akpik and the Tagiugmiut Dancers of Barrow perform an Inupiat dance at the opening of the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Oct. 18, 2012, in Anchorage.
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