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Elizabeth Peratrovich Day

Effective Date: Saturday, February 16th, 2013

WHEREAS, each year on February 16, Alaskans are proud to honor the memory of Elizabeth Peratrovich and her heroic, unceasing efforts on behalf of Alaska Natives to end discrimination and bring about equal rights for all Alaskans; and

WHEREAS, born on the fourth of July, Elizabeth Peratrovich, a member of the Lúkaaxh.ádi Clan, of the Raven moiety of the Tlingit nation, was a central figure in the civil rights movement in Alaska and worked tirelessly throughout her life to bring about recognition of equal rights and freedoms for all Alaskans; and

WHEREAS, through her courage, vision, and impassioned testimonies, Elizabeth Peratrovich inspired and persuaded the Legislature of the Territory of Alaska to pass the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945, ensuring the dignity and equality of Alaska Natives; and

WHEREAS, before passage of this legislation, it was common in Alaska to openly discriminate against Alaska Natives in housing, theaters, hotels, restaurants, and public facilities. Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand President Elizabeth Peratrovich and her husband, Roy, Grand President of the Alaska Native Brotherhood, forever improved Alaska as they lobbied against discrimination; and

WHEREAS, the Legislature passed a resolution entitled “an Act to provide for full and equal accommodations, facilities, and privileges to all citizens in places of public accommodations within the jurisdiction of the Territory of Alaska; to provide penalties for violation.” When signed into law by Governor Ernest Gruening on February 16, 1945, it became the first anti-discrimination bill passed in Alaska, nearly 20 years prior to the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964; and

WHEREAS, in 1988, the Alaska State Legislature designated February 16 of each year as Elizabeth Peratrovich Day in honor of her devoted pursuit to end discrimination in Alaska.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim February 16, 2013 as:

Elizabeth Peratrovich Day

in Alaska, and ask all Alaskans to recognize and reflect upon the great contributions Elizabeth Peratrovich made to our state and its people.

Dated: February 8, 2013

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