FRANKLYWNOW - First Alaskans Institute hosts summit on racial equity

First Alaskans Institute hosts summit on racial equity

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The Alaska Native community is starting a conversation about race relations in Alaska. On Monday, First Alaskans Institute’s Alaska Native Policy Center kicked off its two-day summit on racial equity at the Egan Center.

The summit is an effort to have a dialogue around healing racism. Some Alaska Native people, like Panganga Pungowiyi, said change needs to come from the top.

“I feel like, systemically, that’s where our issues are in policy and law,” Pungowiyi said. “We have laws and policy that were created from the perspective of non-diverse people, and so that plays into how our institutions interact with each other, with populations.”

More than 250 Alaskans from across the state participated in the summit, which included workshops and presentations from several speakers. One of them was Tim Wise, a well-known anti-racism activist and author.

Wise said Americans must acknowledge our country’s history and how it has impacted minority populations, including the Alaska Native community.

“You can’t run from it, you sort of can’t heal the wounds of your own personal trauma or personal family trauma and dysfunction. If you run away from it, never discuss it all that, it just perpetuates the problems,” he said. “Same is true for social problems. We have to be prepared to be unpleasantly uncomfortable because that is what it is going to take to heal the wounds.”

The post First Alaskans Institute hosts summit on racial equity appeared first on KTVA 11.

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