Home Culture Alaska Native Oratory Society Kicks off 12th Year with Regionals Friday

Alaska Native Oratory Society Kicks off 12th Year with Regionals Friday

Image courtesy of Alaska Native Oratory Society
Image courtesy of Alaska Native Oratory Society

It’s the time of year again for the Alaska Native Oratory Society event at UAA. This is a multi-disciplinary speaking/performance event for students that is open for the public to attend. I participated in the event in 2011 while still a student at UAA, re-telling the humorous/sad story of how I found my biological father.

This year Jack Dalton will be emceeing both events and coaching students in confidence and delivery. The keynote speakers for the statewide event will be Mark Trahant, the current Atwood Chair of Journalism at UAA and Joaqlin Estus the news director for KNBA.

The event is non-competitive, the year I participated iPads were given as gifts to random participants (one of which I won, and my wife and kids quickly claimed). This year Chenega Village Corporation generously donated six Galaxy Samsung Tablets for the drawing. The event is sponsored by the Alaska Native Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences Dean humanities fund, and the Diversity Action Council at UAA, and AkNOS. 

The Alaska Native Oratory Society (AkNOS) is more than a speaking event. AkNOS offers a platform for Alaska Native students to share stories, songs, and address issues that are meaningful to them. It is a sharing and learning gathering that is based on Alaska Native community values.  It provides an opportunity for students to develop their skills in oratory in a supportive environment.  AkNOS was started twelve years ago, originally as a competition. In 2011, it became a celebration of oratory and the competitive element was eliminated. The speech categories include: Alaska Native language; humor; real life stories; rap/spoken word; music/poetry, and declamatory speech. These categories help Native and non-Native students learn, in a supportive environment, to speak out on issues of importance to their communities and regions.

This year is the 12th Alaska Native Oratory Society at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. There will be two events:


AkNOS Regional

April 4th, 2014


Student Union Den


AkNOS State

April 12th, 2014


Lucy Cuddy Hall


The event is suitable for all ages, and all are welcome. Food will be available but please let elders and students eat first. You can email Meda DeWitt Schleifman aknos.uaa@gmail.com to register, or if you have any questions.