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New competition will award $60,000 to Native writers

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Federation of Natives is launching a new national initiative in the tradition of its successful Alaska Marketplace Competition.

Native Insight: Thoughts on Recession, Recovery & Opportunity is a writing competition crafted to tap the wisdom and ingenuity of Native communities, and to encourage Native thinkers to go public with their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in the current economic and political landscape.

“The Native Insight Competition originated with a surprise announcement during the 2008 AFN Convention,” said AFN President Julie Kitka, “A great friend of Alaska invited members of the Native community to share their fresh ideas about the challenges and opportunities of the current economic climate in writing – and he volunteered thousands of his own hard-earned dollars to seed the pool of award money.”

When the competition winners are announced in October, $60,000 will be distributed among three Alaska Native winners and three Native Hawaiian/Lower 48 winners, with opportunities for their winning essays to be published in Native journals and magazines across the United States. AFN is partnering with the National Congress of American Indians and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement to reach Native communities across the nation.

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“Native communities have a wealth of knowledge and experience from engaging in commerce and trade over thousands of years.” said Robin Puanani Danner, CNHA president and CEO. “The Native Insight competition is a dynamic platform that allows the ingenuity of our people to be shared.”

The competition is open to Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and American Indians of all ages, 500-1,600 word essays are due Sept. 15. Essays must address one or more of three writing prompts focused on how the Native community can support economic renewal, what it will take for the American economy to rebound, and what the American leadership can do to jumpstart recovery. For more information on the Native Insight: Thoughts on Recession, Recovery & Opportunity, contact the Alaska Federation of Natives at (907) 274-3611, or by email at