Alaska is the first state to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples Day.
Effective Monday, Gov. Bill Walker proclaimed the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples Day, following the lead of several cities across the country in recent years. The proclamation was announced at the Elders and Youth Conference in Anchorage with the help of Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.
“The State recognizes the fact that Alaska is one ‘big village,’ with over 16 percent of the State population having indigenous heritage — the highest percentage among all the United States,” the proclamation states.
Members of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe’s Gganiłchit Dena’ina Youth Council were present for the proclamation at the conference in Anchorage, according to the tribe’s Facebook page.
— Megan Pacer