Dialogues, Hostings, Trainings

"Stories allow the teller to express whatever is most important and give listeners the latitude to take away whatever they are able to see or learn.” -Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff (Unangax) from St. Paul

Guided by our four initiative areas and organizational values, we have created a variety of dialogues and trainings that we offer throughout Alaska. These opportunities are designed to increase equity and weave Indigenous knowledge and approaches into healing childhood, intergenerational, and collective trauma while creating opportunities for systemic change. 

Our dialogues are interactive and customized to meet the unique needs of each entity we work with; no two are exactly the same. We use a variety of techniques built from our Native values and ways of knowing while using indigenized social technologies to host meaningful and healing dialogues that advance the needs of our peoples and our partners. Participants will not be experts on this subject matter in the span of one dialogue but will walk away with a critical foundation on which to build upon.

Dialogues range in length of time based on the needs of the entity and can be hosted for small or large groups, conference plenary sessions and can be hosted virtually or in person.

Quotes from past attendees:

“The information provided was invaluable. It makes one reflect upon their own life in a serious manner and brings to light serious issues facing Alaska Natives. It’s done in a positive and non-degrading manner, with objective outcomes. I have been to three cultural training courses in my career. This one really tied so many pieces together of the puzzle that is governance in Alaska. I have to say thank you to the group for providing such a succinct presentation that could be grasped, understood, and leaves the trainee with hope that there is a vision in place and being followed statewide, and ways they can participate in the mission.”

Leaders in Alaska are called upon every day to make important decisions that impact our state, our Native peoples and our communities. In an interactive forum, participants will learn about recognition of place, cultural diversity, geographic distinctions and unique practices of Native peoples, as well as foundational principles and information related to the formation and authorities of our various Native governing structures. Participants will also learn about other types of Native institutions, organizations, businesses, and the general lay of the land as it concerns these entities, groups, and advocacy bodies that have an origin and/or responsibility within and to the Native community. FAI’s Alaska Native Governance & Protocols learning sessions create an opportunity to be in dialogue and ask questions in an environment stewarded by our values of relationship, hospitality, and being good relatives.

These sessions, grounded in our Indigenous principles and values are designed to:

  • Shed light on the complex layers of Alaska Native governance;
  • Share insights into unique cultural, social and economic contexts, communities, relationships, and protocols;
  • Create a forum for strengthening knowledge and understanding between Alaskans; and
  • Highlight potential opportunities to partner and engage across Alaska.

Racism is abundant in our society, built into every layer of our lives from individual interactions to our institutions and systems. Talking about racism is an incredibly difficult conversation that often yields more harm than good. Yet without these discussions, Peoples of Color will continue to experience disproportionate outcomes in all aspects of life. Racism – from interpersonal to systemic – robs everyone of a truly just and equitable Alaska. To guide us through these difficult discussions, FAI co-created with our community a dialogue process that helps to reset and reshape perspectives on race in Alaska, move people into a place of understanding, healing, and growth, and advance policy solutions for the betterment of all Alaskans.

These sessions, grounded in our Indigenous principles and values are designed to:

  • Defuse defensiveness bringing forward productive discussions about race and racism; 
  • Foster and grow racial healing by meaningfully engaging in communities across Alaska on racism and racial equity; 
  • Help participants develop an anti-racist lens that can be applied to both one’s personal and professional lives, grounded in understanding the ways that injustices and racial inequities shape our communities’ experiences as Alaskans through the institutions and systems we all participate
  • Highlight and advance community-driven solutions and action plans to better our collective future.

“When Natives fight Natives, someone else is winning.” ~ Vernita Herdman

Over the course of the past several years, FAI has been bringing together Alaska’s Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations to address points of conflict and healing while strengthening and resetting these relationships to work towards the bright future we all desire and aspire to for our peoples. Through interactive dialogue, sharing, and deep listening, we discuss the challenges we face, the unique strengths of each entity, and map out the authority, scope and reach of our organizations to help us identify solutions and build stronger relationships for our people.

These sessions, grounded in our Indigenous principles and values are designed to:

  • Create space for Tribal and Alaska Native Corporation leaders to have critical conversations to identify the barriers, opportunities and possibilities in working together;
  • Overcome internal and external forces at play that make our relationships difficult;
  • Learn from examples of successful partnerships, positive stories, and ways to reset relationships;
  • Elevate solutions to overcome the challenges we face in advancing our shared goals;
  • Operationalize our values and ancestral knowledge into our work to deepen our relationships and strengthen our force as a people.

Often times, FAI is called upon to host meaningful conversations and relevant dialogue around issues of importance with the express result of turning ideas, themes, and issues into accountable actions. Each of these dialogues are customized based on the specific needs of the requesting organization and are aligned with FAI’s mission and vision.

Examples of these sessions which are grounded in our Indigenous principles and values can include:

  • Addressing issues that get between or hold us back from working together;
  • Strengthening and improving relationships by identifying shared challenges and opportunities;
  • Identifying pathways for moving forward in meaningful ways.

Managing and governing a Tribe in your home community comes with many challenges. By invitation, FAI has begun working with Councils and their Executives to create and maintain healthy working relationships by developing a foundation of governance that maintains clear lines of responsibility and healthy boundaries between governance and the work of the organization.

Specifically, these sessions can include:

  • Discussing roles and responsibilities of the Council, outlining clear lines of authority and handling communication with tribal citizens;
  • Building comfort level with Council members, drawing upon the experience to set a foundation for moving forward;
  • Reviewing and discussing edits to governing documents such as, the Constitution and Governance Policies;
  • Operationalizing our Native values into the management of the Tribe;
  • Creating shared language and forward thinking around Self-Determination, Self-Governance, and Assertion of Sovereignty;
  • Strategic visioning with the Council to help guide the staff in the development of a work plan.

Strategic planning is an integral component to guiding your team in the work they do and having constant reminders of why you do the work to begin with. Visioning and planning is less about creating a road map and more about being a compass in your navigation of goals and objectives. FAI works with organizations in elevating community-driven solutions and action plans that help to guide organizations in their work and better our collective future. 

Specifically, these sessions can include:

  • Identify community needs to assist in the creation of strategic priorities, organizational goals and objectives;
  • Build on the analysis of work already accomplished to develop a comprehensive, implementable Strategic Plan;
  • Provide direction and purpose for an organization’s efforts and define the desired end result to be achieved within each strategic priority. 

FAI’s Hosting and Dialogue opportunities

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If interested in learning more about our dialogue offerings, the cost and/or scheduling with our team, please complete an information request, here.