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"Native Minds Shaping Our Future"
Discussing Alaska Native population numbers in Census, March 2007

The Alaska Native Policy Center (Policy Center) is a project of the First Alaskans Institute created to support the Native voice and perspective in the public policy-making process. The Policy Center connects people and ideas producing knowledge that can be used to understand and improve the lives of Alaska Natives and all Alaskans. The Policy Center uses a proactive and forward- thinking approach, a focus that is statewide, and a relationship with the Native community that helps Alaska Native leaders and other policy makers access information they can use to help achieve healthy, thriving communities.

"We Alaska Natives are eminently capable of analyzing politics, economics and social behavior from a slightly different point of view than is generally offered. We have something to add to the discussion, and we have the right, at long last, to be listened to."
Janie Leask, Former President and CEO First Alaskans Institute

First Alaskans Institute's Commitment:

"Native Minds Shaping Our Future"
The Policy Center will provide Native leaders and other policy makers with the best available knowledge in order that Alaska Natives be proactively involved in - and influence - the education, economic and social policy issues that impact our future as 21st century indigenous peoples.

Major Goals

Expand the Policy Center's research and analysis capacity to provide accurate, credible information for Alaska Native leaders and other policy makers as a tool in developing policy initiatives that improve the lives of Alaska Natives including:

  • Developing and disseminating Alaska Native demographic information
  • Continuing to provide a voice through ongoing discussions, forums and gatherings
  • Providing opportunities for internships and fellowships for policy research projects

The Policy Center currently is working to expand its ability to provide information and data on Alaska Natives at a statewide and regional level. This kind of information can be used as a tool in developing and measuring the impact of policies and programs, resource allocation, and for short term and long term planning.

Current Policy Center projects include: 

  • The Alaska Native Dialogues on Racial Equity, a W.K Kellogg funded project created to allow Alaska Native people, people of color, and all Alaskan citizens to proactively and positively address the issue of race, racism and racial equity through community conversations.  The goal of this project is to heal past injustices against Alaska Native people and to work towards eliminating institutionalized and structural racism in Alaska by having difficult conversations and evelating policy solutions.
  • Strengthening the Sustainability of Alaska Native Communities in a Post-Oil Economy. This project will utilize a three-prong approach 1.) Think Tank Dialogue 2.) Alaska Native Economic Impact Study & Post-Oil Economy Summit 3.) In-depth Study of Post-Oil Economy Effects.
  • Ongoing research of Indigenous research methodologies to be utilized within the State to assist ANPC in hosting difficult dialogues within the Alaska Native Community.
  • Prepairing a Layers of Governance paper to build the knowledge capacity for Alaska Native people and those who work with us. The Layers of Governance paper will be a useful tool for disseminating information to decision makers in the policy sector who are not familiar with Alaska Native people and our governance structures.
  • Tracking Movement of Alaska Native people across the State. Surveying attendees of the 2011 AFN convention to follow up on the 2008 survey.
  • Hosting Census information sessions. Hosting Redistricting information sessions.
  • Finalizing FAI's Attitudinal Survey.
  • Supporting the Native Emerging Leaders Forum and Work Group. (NELF) is currently planning a Forum on progressing the Tribal/Corporate dialogue and is holding think-tanks on the topic of restructuring AFN.

The Policy Center is also developing a "Getting Behind the Numbers" program. The purpose of this program is to answer questions raised by the data, to develop a research and analysis capacity within the Native community, to build leadership and networks within the field of research and analysis in our communities. Past "Getting Behind the Numbers" projects can be found in our website Library.

Elizabeth Medicine-Crow (Tlingit and Haida) is the current Alaska Native Policy Center Director.

Please give us your feedback as we continue to develop these programs. We want to provide information products that will be useful to your work in attaining healthy and thriving communities.

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