Strengthening Governance & Civic Engagement
Census Data & Redistricting Efforts
Every 10 years, the census determines our statewide population count, which in turn affects a wide range of funding and services that are critically needed in our communities. The redistricting process that follows determines the districts that we will vote in for the next 10 years – shaping our people’s ability to be fairly represented in the Alaska legislature. There is a lot of room for growth: though our population alone means we should have a minimum of 16 seats in the state legislature, due to multiple factors including redistricting our communities have only been able to achieve up to 6 seats.
Despite this, we are continuing to work hard to ensure our peoples are equitably represented in these processes.
Representation matters. Our people deserve elected and appointed leaders that care deeply about our needs and are striving for a society with diverse and equitable representation at all levels. As part of this work, we partner with many other organizations across Alaska on a variety of civic engagement endeavors to increase voter turnout and representation of Alaska Native and peoples of the global majority.
Fair and equitable representation is critical to ensuring that voices of Alaska Native and peoples of the global majority are heard throughout our state and feel ownership and comfort in participating civically.
At First Alaskans Institute, we operate with the understanding that Alaska Natives know what is best for Alaska Natives, and what is good for Alaska Natives is good for all Alaskans. We also understand that Alaska always has been and always will be a Native place.
We know that when our communities are in charge of determining their future, everyone is better served.
It is critical we work together as a state to amplify the self-determination of Alaska Native Tribes and communities. One tool available to the State of Alaska and the Federal government is the process of compacting with Tribes. Compacts are government to government partnerships that enable our people to determine what is best for our communities. We have already seen the benefits of compacting through our Alaska Tribal Health Compact and the Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact. We have supported the development of compacts in the past and continue to encourage the use of compacting across all areas that our communities self-identify as being of interest.