Trust Your Gut, and Stand Up!
Ḵaax̲gal.aat (“person who packs for themselves”) is the Tlingit name for Elizabeth Wanamaker Peratrovich, who is now known as an Alaska Native social justice warrior, but in 1945, she was […]
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Ḵaax̲gal.aat (“person who packs for themselves”) is the Tlingit name for Elizabeth Wanamaker Peratrovich, who is now known as an Alaska Native social justice warrior, but in 1945, she was an extremely marginalized Alaska Native woman in a very hostile environment. She was also a concerned citizen in the state capital, Juneau. I imagine her sitting in the guest box, mostly minding her business when something was said by these “educated men” that did not sit right with her, and she decided to say something at a crucial moment where she found her voice and delivered a powerful and heartfelt argument about human rights almost 20 years before MLK. 

In 2021, First Alaskans Institute, Alaska Native Sisterhood, Alaska Pacific University, UAA Native Student Services, and other community partners came together to honor Elizabeth Peratrovich on Zoom. Dozens of leaders and Elders spoke about the significance and legacy of Elizabeth Peratrovich. One speaker at this event was Miciana Hutcherson. This 5 minute video of her oratory is pulled from that celebration where she provides a very humanizing perspective on Elizabeth Wanamaker Peratrovich. Miciana introduces us to the young Elizabeth, relating the very human experience she must have been struggling through in that galvanizing moment.

So, please, let us take a moment as well to put ourselves in her shoes, find our voice (even if we’re quiet), and stand up (even on shaky knees) for what we believe.