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(Many Paths)
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New Competition Will Award $60,000 to Native Writers
by NCAI Press Release

NCAI Partners with Alaska Federation of Natives' Newest Initiative that Challenges
Native Thinkers to Share Economic & Political Insights

WASHINGTON—April 28, 2009—The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), in partnership with the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), 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 our Native communities, and to encourage Native thinkers to go public with their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in our 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 2009, $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. Along with NCAI, AFN is also partnering with the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement to reach Native communities across the nation.

"Overcoming the challenges currently facing the US economy will require a major shift in the way our economic system works," said Jackie Johnson Pata, Executive Director of NCAI, "Native communities are great resources that remain largely untapped by mainstream decision-makers. The Native Insight Competition will provide Native thinkers a voice in the national economic dialogue."

The competition is open to Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and American Indians of all ages. 500-1,600 word essays are due September 15, 2009. 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. Visit for more information about this exciting new competition.

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights.

1301 Connecticut Avenue NW • Suite 200 • Washington, DC 20036 (202) 466-7767 • (202) 466-7797 fax •

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