Lee Ann Francis (jr-Pilot Station) and fellow Athabaskan Dancers from Mt. Edgecumbe High School Laurel Paukan (sr-Saint Marys), Justina Peterson (fr-Mountain Village), and Jonathan Berlin (sr-Anchorage) join 200 Sitkans in the 2017 Elizabeth Peratrovich Day Parade. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)

Around 200 Sitkans turned out to march in the 29th Annual Elizabeth Peratrovich Day Parade. Many were school children dressed in full regalia, who had been released early for the holiday. This year’s parade featured Elizabeth Peratrovich posters portraying Alaska’s civil rights heroine as “Rosie the Riveter.” The posters contained her electrifying words to the Alaska Territorial Legislature: “I would not have expected that I, who am barely out of savagery, would have to remind gentlemen with 5,000 years of recorded civilization behind them, of our Bill of Rights.”

To learn more about the history of civil rights in Alaska, and the work done by Elizabeth Peratrovich and other important pioneers, see this essay by Sitka High sophomore Abigail Fitzgibbon.