“First Alaskans Institute’s 36th Annual Elders & Youth Conference (Elders & Youth) theme, “Qaneryararput Yugtun Piniqerput/Qaneryararput Cugtun Kayuqerput,” celebrates the beauty and importance of Alaska Native languages. This year’s conference will kick off with a Warming of the Hands pre-conference gathering on Sunday, October 13 with the main conference taking place October 14-16 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. Elders & Youth provides a special opportunity to make connections, reinforce identity and belonging, explore art and issues, and contribute to the greater community through the transference of knowledge between our generations.
The Elders & Youth theme, “Qaneryararput Yugtun Riniqerput/Qaneryararput Cugtun Kayuqerput,” fluidly translates to “Language is Our Super Power”, and honors how we are stronger with our languages. When spoken, they connect us to our Ancestors, our lands, waters and animals, provide healing, and instruct us in living our ways of life. Our languages reside within us and we are responsible for putting them to use for a stronger future; upholding this responsibility, First Alaskans will choose a different Alaska Native language each year to highlight with our theme. This year, we selected the Yugtun and Cugtun languages, spoken by Yup’ik and Cup’ik peoples of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta region.”