Alaska Native Brotherhood/Sisterhood

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The Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) and its counterpart, the Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS), are two nonprofit organizations founded in 1912 in Sitka, Alaska to address racism against Alaska Native peoples in Alaska. For the first half of the 20th century, they were the only organizations working for the civil rights of Alaska Natives in the territory and state.


The organization was founded in Sitka in 1912. Two Tlingit brothers were the primary organizers.

The founding "fathers" included a woman. They were:[1]

Andrew Wanamaker (father of Elizabeth Peratrovich) Sitka, a Tlingit Presbyterian minister, is regarded as an "Honorary Founder".

The Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, built in 1914 on the waterfront in Sitka, was the first facility owned by the organization. For the significance of the ANB, the hall has been designated a National Historic Landmark.[2][3]

During the 1930s, the Alaska Native Brotherhood obtained at least one Civilian Conservation Corps grant from the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration to restore and preserve totem poles. One $24,000 grant enabled work with architect Linn A. Forrest, an American architect of Juneau, to construct the Shakes Island Community House and to preserve totems at Wrangell in 1937-1939 during the Great Depression.[4]

Elizabeth Peratrovich (née Wanamaker), member and grand president of the ANS, did organizing, wrote petitions, and testified to the state senate in 1945 for civil rights of Alaska Natives. She helped win passage of the 1945 state anti-discrimination act. In 1988, the State of Alaska designated a state holiday, February 16, on the anniversary of passage of the bill, designating it "Elizabeth Peratrovich Day".

Position on possession of eagle feathers[edit]

In 2005, the organization opposed U.S. federal law that makes the collection and ownership of bald eagle feathers illegal, as these have been integral to spiritual and cultural practices of Alaska Natives.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ANB celebrates 100th at ANB/ANS Grand Camp in Sitka" (Press release). Raven Radio. 29 September 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Alaska Native Brotherhood". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-27. Archived from the original on 2007-12-29.
  3. ^ William S. Hanable (December 15, 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, Sitka Camp No. 1" (pdf). National Park Service. and Accompanying 2 photos, exterior, from 1975. (242 KB)
  4. ^ [1] Archived 2012-03-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Bluemink, Elizabeth (4 December 2005). "Natives question federal eagle law". Juneau Empire. Juneau, United States. Retrieved 7 January 2013.

External links[edit]