Peratrovich led way

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, February 18, 2005

The Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood honor the steps taken to end discrimination throughout Alaska taken by Roy and Elizabeth Peratrovich.

In 1945, as ANB and ANS grand presidents, they appeared before the Alaska Territorial Legislature in support of the Anti-Discrimination Bill. After Roy testified, legislative custom dictated that anyone present was allowed to speak. Mrs. Peratrovich rose, crossed in front of a packed gallery, and sat next to the Senate president on his raised platform. Her testimony is now part of our history. From all written accounts, she carried the day. The Alaska Equal Rights law was passed 11-5.

Mrs. Elizabeth Peratrovich is recognized as our Indian civil rights leader. Alaska sets Feb. 16 as Elizabeth Peratrovich Day.

For today's young adults and children, I offer the following thought from an unknown author: "We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names. All are different colors, but they all have to learn to live in the same box."

Barbara C. Lewis


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