Elizabeth Peratrovich Day recognized nationally for second year

This week (Feb. 26th, 2024), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution, introduced by Senator Dan Sullivan and cosponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (both R-Alaska), to nationally recognize February 16, 2024 as “Elizabeth Peratrovich Day,” honoring the historic Alaska civil rights leader who played an instrumental role in the Alaska Territorial Legislature passing the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945—nearly two decades before the signing of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is the second consecutive year Elizabeth Peratrovich Day has been nationally recognized.

“Elizabeth Peratrovich was a true Alaskan hero, standing up against the unfair treatment of Alaska Native people and fighting tirelessly for racial equality, including leading the charge to ensure passage of Alaska’s Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945, nearly 20 years before the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964,” said Sen. Sullivan. “A Tlingit woman from Southeast Alaska, Elizabeth Peratrovich was born and raised in a dark chapter in our history when Alaska Native people were routinely discriminated against and denied equal rights in our state. Her courage and leadership changed Alaska’s history—and American history—for the better, a fact that continues to inspire future generations and places her in the company of America’s foremost civil rights leaders. With the unanimous passage of our resolution, Elizabeth Peratrovich Day is being recognized not just in Alaska, but by the whole nation—a fitting tribute to this great American.”

“It is an honor today to recognize the life and contributions of Elizabeth Peratrovich. Last year and again this year, I invited my colleagues to join me and Senator Sullivan in recognizing Elizabeth Peratrovich day at the national level, a resolution that the Senate unanimously adopted. It’s always important and timely to pay attention, to reflect on the legacies of those who have truly worked to advance a more inclusive society and a more representative democracy. Elizabeth continues to serve as an inspiration because she set the example that when you see injustice, you speak out and you take action,” said Sen. Murkowski. “She is one of many Native leaders that advocated for integrating public schools, securing the right to vote for Alaska Natives, laying the groundwork for ANCSA, and bringing about a just settlement for lost lands and rights. Her legacy is one of seeking and realizing a more inclusive society and a more representative democracy.”