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JUNEAU – Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson (D-Anchorage) and Senator Donald Olson (D-Golovin) introduced legislation Wednesday declaring November as Alaska Native Heritage month to acknowledge the vast contributions Alaska Natives made in the past, the present, and the future for this state. It also provides an opportunity to educate and bring awareness to all Alaskans the impacts Alaska Natives have had on Alaska, far before most of us were here.
“Alaska Natives have a strong, rich culture that continues to inspire me and all Alaskans to this day,” said Sen. Gray-Jackson. “This is a great opportunity to recognize the First Alaskans, bring awareness of all the different tribes, and communities throughout this state and celebrate that rich diversity.”
“Shedding light on the accomplishments of Alaska Natives showcases the foundation of this state,” said Sen. Olson. “Each recognition celebrates our history, culture, and language, and continues our efforts in preserving and revitalizing our way of life for generations to come.”
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush approved a resolution proclaiming November as National American Indian Heritage & Alaska Native Heritage Month. Alaska most recently officially observed Alaska Native Heritage Month through Governor Bill Walker’s proclamation on November 6, 2018 and the Anchorage Assembly has recognized November as Alaska Native Heritage Month annually since at least 2007.
Senate Bill 86 has been referred to the State Affairs Committee.