Racial Healing & Building Equity

FAI is focused on advancing Alaska Native ways of life, ensuring Alaska Native peoples are involved in decision-making at all levels and cultivating leadership from birth to Ancestor. We operate with the understanding that when Alaska Native peoples are grounded in our ancestral ways of knowing, we are healthier and more knowledgeable about effectively stewarding our lands, animals, and waters, and strengthening our cultures, languages, and peoples in perpetuity. 

Through years of advancing our work statewide, FAI understands the direct correlation between racial inequity and the critical need for intergenerational healing and systemic change. Our initiatives aim to ensure that policy changes are married to a fundamental shift in our society and work to dismantle the antiquated and false belief in the hierarchy of human value and replace that hierarchy with understanding that elevates and operationalizes our inherent human value and honors the diversity of all Peoples of Color. 

For years, Alaska Native peoples have been calling for a transformative healing process that comes from our people, honors our values, and addresses permanent systemic and societal transformation.  The Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) endeavor is in direct response to the call from our communities to grow a shared understanding of Alaska’s true history, to right the wrongs that continue to inhibit our true potential as a state, and to help our communities and our state heal in order to achieve systemic change and an equitable future for all.  We incorporate the knowledge and vision of our healers to foster healing and connectedness for thriving communities into our TRHT work.

Our TRHT work takes place through hosting theme based tribunals. The tribunal process brings people together to share their truths, create a platform for healing, and transform systems to reflect our truths as Alaska Natives, to create a better world for our children.  Tribunals call truth providers, Pullers, Story Guardians, and Healers together to engage in a healing process of sharing the truth of the experience and impacts of the topic of the gathering. The tribunals are documented in both text and video to build a record of the true history of Alaska. Truth providers are not limited to a timeframe and are welcome to share more than once.

“there was a moment where I realized this is what community healing looks like. To be able to share in the carrying of burdens that we have and reaffirm for each other that it’s ok to come as you are and speak your truth. Even if it’s hard and even if it’s dark and the wounds are ugly.” -Tribunal Truth Provider

“My role was one of witnessing. There was a large emphasis on bearing witness and also deep listening and like reflection on the truth that people were sharing. To make sure that we just listened very, very deeply in a posture that wasn't defensive, but was focused on how we were going to make advancement on these issues by hearing about the things that those who we were representing have, historically, played a role in the challenges that people were sharing.” -Tribunal Accountability Partner

Alaska Native Dialogues on Racial Equity (ANDORE) began as an effort to catalyze discussions on racial equity and healing statewide. In 2009, the State of Alaska was celebrating fifty years of statehood. To get a better sense of what our communities thought about statehood and its impact on our people, FAI hosted a series of gatherings. What we resoundingly heard was that racism, discrimination and intergenerational trauma are still deeply affecting our peoples and communities. ANDORE grew out of the shared effort to listen to what we heard and take action. Two goals emerged as ANDORE progressed: 1) Reset the dialogue on race in Alaska and 2) Advance policy solutions towards racial equity. Since then, we have hosted over 25,000 people in dialogues across the State and throughout most of Alaska’s industries.

Alaska Native Governance & Protocols (ANG&P) began as an effort to educate Governor Bill Walker’s cabinet during his first year in office. The landscape of Alaska Native Governance is complex, different from any other state in the nation and currently not taught anywhere other than in the University setting. FAI has adapted the semester long course into a shorter opportunity to learn about these complexities and building meaningful relationships with Alaska Native peoples and communities.

"FAI models a dynamic that is conducive to having healthy, meaningful conversation.” - Alaska Native Corporation Leader

To learn more about these dialogues visit our Dialogues, Hostings, & Trainings page here 

“We work to cultivate a culture of service. We ask, does what we offer our (citizens or shareholders) come from a culture of service? That is of utmost importance. If we fail to be good stewards for our future generations, then we fail completely.” – Being Good Relatives Attendee

Being Good Relatives (BGR) was created to bring focus on learning from positive, strength-based examples of local and regional unity, while also identifying the barriers and opportunities in front of our Tribes and Corporations to enhance our Alaska Native ways of living and knowing. These gatherings are meant to inspire, challenge, and transform our collective experience and amplify the power of our Federally Recognized Tribes and our Alaska Native Corporations to identify obstacles, opportunities, and possibilities in working together to advance Alaska Native peoples and cultures. When we are divided, it weakens our ability to stand up against threats facing us as Native peoples.