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  • Writer's pictureLee Hart

Explore Regenerative Economic Themes Across Borders at Confluence Summit in Fairbanks

4 women including US Senator Lisa Murkowski standing side by side under a banner for the Confluence Summit in Haines.
From left Raina Thiele, Department of Interior; Lee Hart, Confluence AK; Senator Lisa Murkowski; and Julia Hnilicka , USDA Rural Development take a pause during Confluence in Haines.

Regenerative economic development is the theme again at this year's 8th Annual Confluence Summit on the Outdoor Economy, Sept. 26 - 28, 2023 in Fairbanks. This is the third meeting where Alaskans can meet with their Canadian peers to share information and priorities concerning economic development in and at the gateway to protected public and tribal lands and waterways.

“From the Arctic to the Tongass, there are incredible efforts literally transforming local economies and ways of connecting with the outdoors that are being guided by Indigenous wisdom and values,” said Confluence AK Director Lee Hart. “Confluence in Haines facilitated candid, passionate conversations among participants that led to a list of action steps aimed at co-creating a more regenerative future.”

In Haines last fall, the regenerative economies theme attracted leaders in public, tribal and non-profit outdoor tourism businesses, economic development and local, state, territorial, tribal and federal land managers and counterparts from Southeast Alaska and the Yukon. A subgroup of attendees pledged to continue collaborating on transboundary economic development priorities. Another subgroup has already met and is building a statewide active transportation coalition.

Then in Spring 2023, Confluence joined hands with Northwest Boreal Partnership and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society to present The Gathering in Whitehorse and a Land Relationship Planning Gathering in Carcross. Attendees from communities throughout Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories compared notes and shared challenges and successes on a number of issues, some of which mirrored those brought forward in Haines.

The Confluence Summit will be professionally facilitated. Sponsorships are being sought to keep ticket prices low, as well as to hopefully offer at least a few scholarships for interested attendees who may need to offset travel expenses. Tickets, including a new day pass for University of Alaska Fairbanks students, will go on sale June 1.

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