Project: Radio Series on “Strength in Unity: Leadership – Partnership – Social Justice” at the 2017 AFN Convention
Grantee: Koahnic Broadcast Corporation
Story by: Bob Petersen
Photos by: 
Koahnic Broadcast Corporation

My name is Bob Petersen and I am the Network Manager for Native Voice One. NV1 is owned by Koahnic Broadcast Corporation and we received funding from The CIRI Foundation (TCF) for the production of the Gavel-to-Gavel coverage of the 2017 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, in which NV1 distributed throughout the state live, and is making the broadcast available for carriage for each of our 180 affiliates throughout Guam, the United States, and Australia.

This year I was the live on-air host of the coverage. This is also the first year I attended all sessions of AFNC. The experience shifted my perspective and brought an appreciation and understanding of the thriving and resilient Alaskan Native culture that my high school Alaska Native Claims and Settlement Act (ANCSA) and Native Heritage studies classes never did.

The session that encapsulated my interest the most (all of which were enlightening and entertaining) was when each of the tribes and corporations had input on the annual resolutions. The debate and voting was one of the most transparent forms of governance I have witnessed.

The statewide radio distribution provided listeners in every area of the state to listen to the Convention, and did not have to be tied to watch or be near a television. Here is a portion of a message I received from one of our Alaskan affiliates regarding our distribution of AFNC coverage:

Listeners found a valuable source of information from the conference, especially since it (AFNC) was in Anchorage this year.

Having the coverage and distribution of AFNC is a direct manifestation of my professional goal with Native Voice One, bringing the native voice to the state and the nation. It is my conviction that having Native Alaskan content provides a perspective to the listener that is sorely needed for our community and country. It is more than fitting, if not synchronicity, that with my first year in attending fully and first year in my role of Network Manager that the theme of this year’s convention is ‘Strength in Unity: Leadership – Partnership – Social Justice’ for I truly believe that the native voice is that unifying factor that our country needs at this divisive time.