Alaska Native Brotherhood
December 30, 1941
Hon. Ernest Gruening
Governor of Alaska
Dear Mr. Gruening,
My attention has been called to a business establishment in Douglas, namely, "Douglas Inn," which has a sign on the door which reads, "No Natives Allowed."
In view of the present emergency, when unity is being stressed, don't you think that it is very Un-American? We have always contended that we are entitled to every benefit that is accorded our so-called White Brothers. We pay the required taxes, taxes in some instances that we feel are unjust, such as the School tax. Our Native people pay the School tax each year to educate the White children, yet they try to exclude our children from these schools.
In the present emergency our Native boys are being called upon to defend our beloved country, just as the White boys. There is no distinction being made there, but yet when we try to patronize some business establishments we are told in most cases that Natives are not allowed.
The proprietor of "Douglas Inn" does not seem to realize that our Native boys are just as willing as the White boys to lay down their lives to protect the freedom that he enjoys. Instead he shows his appreciation by having a "No Natives Allowed" on his door.
We were shocked when the Jews were discriminated against in Germany. Stories were told of public places having signs, "No Jews Allowed." All freedom-loving people in our country were horrified at these reports, yet it is being practiced in our country.
We, as Indians, consider this an outrage because we are the real Natives of Alaska by reason of our ancestors who have guarded these shores and woods for years past. We will still be here to guard our beloved country while hordes of uninterested whites will be fleeing South.
When a Norwegian, Swede, or an Irishman makes a fool of himself in any of these business establishments, he is asked to leave and it is not held against all of the Norwegians, Swedes, or what have you. We ask that we be accorded the same considerations. If our people misbehave, send the parties concerned out, but let those that conduct themselves respectfully be free to come and go.
We know that you have the interest of the Native people at heart and we are asking that you use your influence to eliminate this discrimination, not only in Juneau or Douglas, but in the whole Territory.
|Very truly yours,|
|Mrs. Elizabeth Peratrovich,
Grand Vice Pres., A.N.B.
Grand Pres., A.N.B.