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Celebrate Elizabeth Peratrovich Day with a book

Sabine Poux/KDLL

It’s Elizabeth Peratrovich Day in Alaska.

In her lifetime, the Tlingit  woman fought for equal treatment of Alaska Native people and lobbied for legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race. Her advocacy resulted in the Anti-Discrimination Law, approved on this day in 1945 by the Alaska Territorial Legislature.

If you want to learn more about Elizabeth Peratrovich’s life, your local libraries have got you covered.

Both the Kenai and Soldotna libraries have copies of, “Fighter in Velvet Gloves,” a 2019 biography, geared toward young adults, by Annie Boochever and Peratrovich’s son, Roy Peratrovich Jr.

River City Books in Soldotna also has copies of that book.

Children's librarian James Adcox said the Kenai Community Library has other volumes that feature Peratrovich, too.

“We also have another book, called ‘The Book of Gutsy Women,’ and that one was written by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton," he said. "And it highlights women throughout history who have made a difference. And Elizabeth Peratrovich is highlighted in that book.”

Both the Kenai and Soldotna libraries can share books with libraries across Alaska. So if you can’t find it on the shelves, they might be able to order it for you. 

Soldotna Assistant City Librarian Ryanna Thurman said you can also view primary sources through the library online.

“If you want to look at something today and want to look at some cool pictures, you can go to the SLED website," she said. "Which is the ‘Statewide Library Electronic Doorway.’”

On that site, there’s correspondence between Peratrovich and her son, photos from when Gov. Steve Cowper signed Elizabeth Peratrovich Day into law, and archived newspapers with stories about the civil right’s icon.

To get to those resources, you can either search Peratrovich’s name directly or go to the Alaska Digital Archives on the SLED site.

Sabine Poux is the news director at KDLL. Originally from New York, she's lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont, where she fell in love with local news. She covers all things central peninsula but is especially interested in stories related to energy and fishing. She'd love to hear your ideas at
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