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The Alaska Native Men’s Dialogue

January 13, 2011

Chugachmiut sponsored a dialogue for Alaska Native men on January 12, 2011. Cook Inlet Tribal Council co sponsored the event through their donation of the Rasmusen Conference Center located in their building. First Alaskan’s Institute Provided assistance with facilitation and analysis. Approximately 40 Native men attended, with a wide variety of experiences and interests.

I first had this idea of a Dialogue a number of years ago. While attending a conference in Florida, I read about a school district that partnered with a group titled “100 Black Men,” with a goal of mentoring at risk black youth. Being curious, I wanted to know more about this organization and researched it’s history. It has been around since 1964 and does great things in communities with significant black populations. I asked why we couldn’t do the same as Alaska Native men for our communities.

As I spoke to other men about the concept, I found acceptance. Finally, in late 2010, I started talking to some prominent Native women about the concept, and found almost universal acceptance for the concept. Gloria O’Neill, President of CITC, not only encouraged me but contributed the meeting space. Diane Benson, then a candidate for Alaska’s Lt. Gov., did as well. I then asked Liz Medicine Crow for counsel and advice in holding a dialogue, based upon her experience with the First Alaskan’s Institute.

We talked about a wide variety of topics, using a couple of dialogue techniques. We started with an introduction session. Following was an “Open Dialogue” with 6 topic groups that men could move around to depending on interest. We had a World Café session as well.

At the end of the day, we knew each other more intimately, understood more of our shared and different concerns, and felt pretty good about the potential for Alaska Native men to coalesce in a way to enhance our participation in the growth and development of our community.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. alaskapi permalink
    January 29, 2011 1:57 PM

    Would you be interested and/or comfortable in sharing this post with some further background added to it on another Alaskan blog?
    What you are trying to get off the ground here is very, very important.
    I wish you all the very, very best.

  2. alaskapi permalink
    January 29, 2011 2:04 PM

    oh fooey- forgot to leave links for you to check out
    http://piinthesky.wordpress.com/
    http://anonymousbloggers.wordpress.com/
    thank you for your consideration.

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