Howard Rock & Ted Stevens Smokehouse Gala



The Howard Rock & Ted Stevens Smokehouse Gala is an Indigenous black-tie event celebrating our Indigeneity in beautiful and innovative ways while uplifting Alaska Native peoples and friends who work to advance our ways of life. The Smokehouse Gala pays tribute to the incredible contributions of the late Howard Rock (Inupiaq) and Senator Ted Stevens, who worked throughout their lifetimes for Native peoples. 
The Smokehouse Gala is our signature fundraiser, all proceeds raised during the Howard Rock & Ted Stevens Smokehouse Gala go towards advancing our Alaska Native ways of life, ensuring Alaska Native peoples are involved in decision-making at all levels, and cultivating our leadership responsibility from birth to Ancestor. 
We invite you to join us at our annual event and help us celebrate our beautiful peoples, our vibrant lands and our rich cultures, contributing to the empowerment of Native leaders and supporting healthy, thriving, and connected communities throughout our state. At FAI, we firmly believe that what's best for Alaska Natives is best for all Alaskans and your support helps us achieve this. 

Get involved


Please check back summer of 2024 to learn how to sponsor, buy a table, or a ticket to the Smokehouse Gala. Please call (907) 677-1700 or email [email protected] with any questions.

Howard Rock & Ted Stevens Smokehouse Gala Awardees and tributes

Howard Rock Alaska Native Leader - This person has shown through their quality of character and effort to be a leader of distinct caliber because they put their community and people before themselves.

Aviññaq Terri Walker (Iñupiaq) - 2023
Dr. Aveogan Oliver Leavitt (Iñupiaq) – 2022
Yeidiklasókw, K̲aaháni Rosita Worl, Ph.D. (Tlingit) – 2021
Melanie Bahnke (St. Lawrence Island Yupik) – 2020
Nelson Angapak (Yup’ik) – 2019
Emil Notti (Koyukon) – 2018
Poldine Carlo (Koyukon) – 2017
Roy S. Ewan (Ahtna) – 2016
Eliza Jones (Koyukon) – 2015
Dr. Paul and Martina John (Yup’ik) – 2014
Mary Jane Evans Fate (Athabascan) – 2013
Marlene Johnson (Lingít) – 2012


First Alaskans Young Native Leader - This young leader has shown through dedication they are working to help Native peoples and our community with significant and profound purpose.

Qaaġraq Corina Kramer (Iñupiaq) - 2023
Vera Starbard, T’set Kwei (Lingít/Dena’ina) – 2022
Nicole Borromeo (Upper Kuskokwim Athabascan) – 2021
Dr. Lance Twitchell (Lingít) – 2020
Dr. Pearl Brower (Iñupiaq) – 2019
Barbara Blake (Lingít/Haida/Ahtna) – 2018
AlexAnna Salmon (Yup’ik) – 2017
Raina Thiele (Dena’ina/Yup’ik) – 2016
Samuel Johns (Ahtna/Gwich’in) – 2015
Tanana 4-H Club (Athabascan) – 2014
Evon Peter (Gwich’in/Koyukon) – 2013
Jason Metrokin (Unangax/Sugpiaq) – 2012


Friends of First Alaskans Ted Stevens - This award is given to a person that has shown through their support of Native issues and partnership with our common cause that they are friends of the Alaska Native community.

Sue McHenry - 2023
Dr. Rick Knecht – 2022
Dr. Herb Illisaurri Schroeder – 2021
Dr. EJ R. David – 2020
Gov. Bill Walker – 2019
Lloyd Miller – 2018
Myra Munson – 2017
Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. – 2016
Gov. Bill Sheffield – 2015
Bill Oberly – 2015
Bill Van Ness – 2014
Diane Kaplan – 2013
Barney Gottstein – 2012


Special Tributes - These special tributes are grounded in one of our guiding principles, “By stewarding strong relationships across the state and sharing our knowledge, Alaska will become universally recognized and valued as a Native place.”

Congressman Don Young – 2022
Molly of Denali – 2020
Indian Country Today – 2020
Portugal. The Man – 2020