"AFN Forming Political Arm: Political Committee Formed to Disseminate Information to Villages"

Tundra Times, June 24, 1970, p.1.


The Alaska Federation of Natives is in the process of forming a political arm in the form of a committee to disseminate political information to the villages. It was formed last weekend by about 10 members of the board of directors of the AFN.

The board met last Saturday and Sunday in Anchorage.

Following adjournment, several members stayed behind "to talk politics" and came up with the idea of a political education committee.

It was stressed that the committee is separate from the native statewide organization and will not be funded from AFN monies. Members of the committee will pay dues, and in this way will finance the group's activities.

The AFN, it was explained, cannot become involved in partisan political activities, but it is necessary that AFN get information into the villages.

Members of the group are now looking at the structures of existing political education committees and are expected to have a report ready by the end of July on various ways that the group might organize itself.

Also, the members are developing a questionnaire to send to at least all of the statewide candidates. The questionnaire would contain questions concerning native issues and also statewide matters.

Then, a list of the candidates and their stands will be published and mailed out to the villages where it will be up to the individuals to decide whom they will vote for, the AFN president said.

The question of endorsing particular candidates was discussed, but the group decided not to take action until it had specific information on which to base its decisions.

The committee is purposely going slow because it realizes that it must be very careful in endorsing any of the candidates and avoid any pitfalls.

He added that committee membership would be open to registration.

Due to a lack of money, contact with the villages will be made by mail only.

He added that committee membership would be open to anyone.

The group said that at this time it could not release the name of the committee chairman or the committee members, but that people interested in joining should contact the AFN at 1689 C Street in Anchorage or call 279-4578.

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