Thoughts on Elizabeth Peratrovich

Thoughts on Elizabeth Peratrovich

Princess Lucaj is Neets’aii Gwich’in and the Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee

Date Posted: 
2013-02-15 15:29

Blog Series:

As an Alaska Native woman passionate about seeking protections for the land and indigenous people of our state, I find the life of Elizabeth Peratrovich truly inspiring. For this woman, to stand up and speak her heart and mind in a room full of scorn, with all the cards stacked against her, is tribute to the unconquerable spirit of Alaska Native people.

On the day of her testimony before the Senate when asked this question: 

‘Will the Equal Rights bill eliminate discrimination in Alaska?’

Elizabeth answered: 

"Have you eliminated larceny or murder by passing a law against it? No law will eliminate crimes but, at least you as legislators, can assert to the world that you recognize the evil of the present situation and speak your intent to help us overcome discrimination."

Injustices and inequalities against Alaska Native people still exist, yet there are many of us that are speaking up and taking a stand out of a moral obligation not just to our own communities, but to humanity as a whole. The gift and legacy of Elizabeth Peratrovich is that she turned that question back on to the legislatures, acknowledging the power they possessed and the moral obligation they were elected to uphold, and by doing so proved to us all the power one singular voice has in making the world a better place.

More information about Elizabeth Peratrovich:

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