Newly minted Assistant Interior Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn will speak at the convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), along with outgoing U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.
Akaka, the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, is the only U.S. senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry. A senator since 1990, he was first elected to office in 1976, in the U.S. House of Representatives. He will retire in January, and Mazie Hirono is running for his seat. She recently received an endorsement from Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young, with both appearing in a 90-second television spot.
The 2012 AFN Annual Convention is running October 18 through 20 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. Akaka will speak at 1:30 p.m. on October 19. Details of Washburn’s attendance, who was confirmed on September 21, are pending. He is a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.
The AFN will host an honors lunch at noon on October 18 to thank Akaka “for his many decades of leadership and collaboration,” the group said in a release. Besides having served in politics for 35 years, Akaka is a World War II veteran, having worked in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1943 to 1945 and then served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947.
The convention is being webcast live at http://www.nativefederation.org/2012-afn-convention-webcast/.