Denakkanaaga is a non-profit organization based in Fairbanks that serves as the voice for Native Elders in the Doyon and Tanana Chiefs Conference regions of Interior Alaska. The organization hosts the Denakkanaaga Elders and Youth Conference. I attended it twice as a youth delegate as a teenager.
I remember the Denakkanaaga Conferences as a time to connect with and learn from Elders from around interior Alaska. I remember the encouragement from Elders and leaders at the time. I was a youth delegate representing Evansville in the early 1990s. Leaders of the day came to the conference and spoke to delegates. I learned how to properly introduce myself to Elders. There were potlatches, dances and workshops held during the conferences. I gained leadership skills and about the importance of being a role model.
Here are some photos from two Denakkanaaga Conferences in the early 1990’s.