INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY, HONORING THE FIRST PEOPLES OF ANCHORAGE AND ALASKA October 12, 2015
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – First Alaskans Institute is thrilled to support Anchorage Mayor Berkowitz’s proclamation to name the 2nd Monday in October “Indigenous Peoples Day” throughout the Municipality of Anchorage, which spans from the Native Village of Eklutna to Girdwood – geographically the largest municipality with populations larger than 100,000 in the entire United States – and Governor Bill Walker’s proclamation to declare Indigenous Peoples Day throughout Alaska.
Anchorage – having just celebrated its centennial year – is built upon the lands of the Dena’ina Athabascan people who have called this land home for thousands of years – and still do. It is also home to the largest and most culturally diverse Alaska Native population from across the state. With 229 Federally-recognized Tribes in this state (out of the 566 Tribes in the U.S), Alaska has the great distinction of being home to 40.5% of all Federally-recognized Tribes in the United States.
According to the 2010 Census Alaska Native and American Indian people represent 19.5% of the population of Alaska – nearly 1/5 of the total Alaskan population, and at 12.4%, Anchorage has the highest percentage of Alaska Native and American Indian people of any city in the U.S. with more than 100,000 people.
“It is especially fitting therefore to have the Mayor of Anchorage and Governor of Alaska take leadership roles in respectfully recognizing, with sincere appreciation, Alaska’s first peoples and all other Indigenous Peoples who now call Alaska home.” said Elizabeth Medicine Crow (Tlingit/Haida), President/CEO of First Alaskans Institute. “We look forward to the opportunity these proclamations make possible – advancing enduring and equitable relationships across the state and municipality of Anchorage, businesses and schools, providing a platform for better trans-cultural knowledge sharing and community building.”
First Alaskans Institute is a statewide Native nonprofit that works to advance Alaska Native peoples through community engagement, information and research, and leadership development. Our Vision is Progress for the next ten thousand years… Our Mission: True to identity, heritage, and values Alaska Natives are informed and engaged in leading the decisions that shape the future.