AHS Blog  |  News

Eyewitness Series Booklet #8

Date Posted: October 21, 2022       Categories: News

A new volume in the Eyewitness Booklet Series has just been completed by Chris Allan, historian for the National Park Service. It is Eyewitness Series #8: Burning for Yukon Gold: The Hidden World of Underground Placer Mining in Alaska and the Klondike, 1898-1901. It is a collection of photographs and first-person accounts revealing how gold miners risked their lives for buried treasure.

All eight booklets in the series are available on the Eyewitness Booklet Series page on the Alaska Historical Society’s webpage under the Publications tab.





2022 Candidate Questionnaire

Date Posted: October 21, 2022       Categories: News

The Alaska Historical Society advocates for history, often with state officeholders. In September 2022, the Society sent five questions to candidates running for Governor and State House and Senate seats about programs and issues of concern to us. Below are responses we received from the following candidates:

For Governor:
Bill Walker and Heidi Drygas

For Senate:

Cathy Giessel – District E

Elvi Gray-Jackson – District G

Loki Tobin – District I

Forrest Dunbar – District J

Bill Wielechowski – District K

Mike Shower – District O

Willy Keppel – District S

Geran Tarr – District J

Jesse Kiehl – District B

For House of Representatives:

Rebecca Himschoot – District 02

Andi Story – District 03

Andy Josephson – District 13

Zach Fields – District 17

Lyn Franks – District 18

Genevieve Mina – District 19

Paul Bauer – District 20

Ted Eischeid – District 22

Larry Wood – District 25

Ashley Carrick – District 35

Walter Featherly – District 11

Questions:

  1. Funding for Federal Archives – Over the past two years, the Alaska Historical Society joined with other Pacific Northwest groups to kill a proposal by the Trump administration to close the closest National Archives to Alaska which is located in Seattle. Despite this positive development, the archives is housed in a deteriorating building and the agency needs millions in federal funding to digitize records vital to Alaska and other states. Do you support efforts to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?
  2. State Cultural Programs – Alaska state programs including Libraries, Archives and Museums (Department of Education), the Office of History and Archaeology (Department of Natural Resources) and University of Alaska entities such as libraries, archives and history/Northern Studies protect and make available for public use invaluable historical records and train people for cultural resources positions. In recent years, state funding for some of these programs has been significantly cut. Do you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?
  3. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of an Alaska 250th Commission to be part of the national effort to highlight the 250th anniversary of the founding of our country, and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?
  4. Alaska History Day – Like most states, Alaska has celebrated and promoted our history through an Alaska History Day competition. High school students across the state have prepared projects – research paper, documentary, performance or website – as part of a national History Day competition. However, in recent years because of Covid restrictions and funding and management challenges, the continuation of Alaska’s History Day competition is threatened. Do you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?
  5. History and Social Studies Standards for Public Education – The State of Alaska has standards for different subject areas and for all grade levels. Standards for social studies and history were last adopted in 2005 and are currently being reviewed. Do you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

BILL WALKER AND HEIDI DRYGAS, Governor and Lt. Governor

  1. Funding for Federal Archives – Would you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Yes. Alaskan researchers need to be able to access archives and historical documents. The Walker Drygas administration will support the Congressional Delegation’s efforts to obtain the funding needed to digitize records.

  1. State Cultural Programs Do you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Increasing the level of understanding of the good and bad of Alaska’s history is essential to establishing mutual respect and understanding among our people and communities; broad historical knowledge will help bridge the deep divisions we see in our society today and chart a path toward a successful future.

The Walker Drygas Administration will support increased funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and also invest in programs within the University of Alaska system and other institutions that promote cultural and historical studies.

  1. 250thAnniversary of Declaration of Independence – Do you support the creation of a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

Yes. We support funding for this important work. Further, one proposal in our economic and community development plan calls for the creation of an initiative we are calling Alaska 2050. The first major undertaking will be modeled after a project carried out by the State of Hawai’i in 1970 called Hawai’i 2000, which brought together thousands of people from across the state of all ages, cultures, professions, educational achievements, income levels, and in all communities at a historic inflection point in that state to establish a greater sense of unity about what people wanted to become by the turn of the century.

We desperately need this approach in Alaska right now: neighbors sitting down and having tough conversations with one another to chart a course into the future that is not disrupted by political cycles and reversed every four years and instead puts us on a positive long-term trajectory and gets us thinking about what we are leaving for our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and everyone who will love this place long after we are gone.

  1. Alaska History Day Do you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public Education – Do you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

Alaskan students would benefit from increased access to social studies curriculum. The Walker Drygas Administration will engage with the Alaska Historical Society and other stakeholders in the education community to determine what changes are needed and what is possible to implement in the diverse schools across our state.

Anyone from AHS can reach me at this email or directly on my personal cell at 404-934-9935 if you need photos, biographical information, or anything else from the candidates. Austin Baird, Communications Director, Walker-Drygas for Alaska, austin@walkerdrygas.com


CATHY GIESSEL, Senate District E

As a lifelong Alaskan (whose birth certificate says “Territory of Alaska” on it), I am thrilled to give positive answers to all your questions! (Bear in mind that while I like the ideas, I am not committing to vote for a specific item until I see the bill, fiscal note and hear testimony.)

While my Alaska History course at Lathrop High School was good, it was just the start. As a life member of two Alaska Pioneer Igloos (Fairbanks and Anchorage), Alaska history has been a lifelong learning experience! I love it!

My father was a pilot for Wien Airlines. That company was a big part of Alaska 20th century transportation history. I met so many aviation legends!

Thank you for this questionnaire.

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Absolutely! This was disturbing to hear about these last 2 years.

  1. State Cultural Programs – Do you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Yes. This year, the question on our November ballot, “Shall there be a Constitutional Convention”, invites Alaska history knowledge to the forefront! Sadly, most voters don’t know much about the original Convention and the important aspects of our founding document.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of Independence Do you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

Great idea. Knowledge of history and origin fosters appreciation for what we have today and the work of those who preceded us.

  1. Alaska History Day Do you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes. How about adding Alaska Constitution Day?

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

Yes to both but I’m wondering if 2 years in high school and 1 year in middle school would be better. Middle school would be a good place to start.


ELVI GRAY-JACKSON, Senate District G

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Yes.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Yes.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

Yes.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

Yes.


LOKI TOBIN, Senate District I

  1. Funding for Federal Archives Would you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Yes.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Yes.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

I would like to know more about this and possible/proposed partnerships with indigenous entities to ensure honest and authentic discussion regarding indigenous land rights and the ensuing cultural genocide.

  1. Alaska History Day Do you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public Education – Do you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of a social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

Yes, I fully support social studies coordination.


FORREST DUNBAR, Senate District J

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Yes, I will support increased funding for care and digitization of Alaska records. I’m proud to be a lifelong Alaskan and protecting our records means protecting our shared state history. However, in addition to relying on official state records for an understanding of our history, we also must center Alaska Native stories which are often overlooked in the official record.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Yes, I do favor increased state funding to protect our historical records and train people in historical research. Alaska’s diverse cultures and histories are the reason so many come to visit our state. They’re a common narrative from which we can build an Alaska-oriented coalition in state government. And they make Alaska a beloved home for all who live here. I support initiatives to protect and uplift our history, especially UA’s state history and cultural studies programs.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

I need more information as to the commission and its purpose. We have seen commissions in Anchorage, as well as institutions like the Library, radicalized with partisan politics in the last year; I would not want to contribute to another forum for that to happen. That being said, it certainly sounds like a worthwhile goal, and if I am elected to the State Senate I would be happy to discuss it further.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes, Alaska History Day has been a fun and exciting way for students to learn about the history of our state. I’d love to find a way to re-vitalize the program.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards

I support requirements for social studies in our secondary education. An educated populace, particularly regarding government and history, is necessary for a functioning democracy. I would likely support social studies coordinators in the Department of Education, but again it’s a topic on which I would have to learn more. I am increasingly concerned with the politicization of history education in places like Florida; I don’t want those attempts to erase history to come to Alaska.


BILL WIELECHOWSKI, Senate District K

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Yes. I would support these efforts.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

I supported funding for the State Libraries, Archives and Museum (SLAM) building in Juneau and have long advocated for and supported funding for the University, libraries and other retainers of historical documents. I continue to support reasonable state funding for this and for UA’s historical and cultural study programs.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

I am open to creating a commission to support this federally matched program.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

It’s important to remember our history, so I would support this.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

I am open to this idea and believe it is critical for our younger generation to have a firm grasp of history. Every time the State proposes new curriculum requirements there is concern from local school districts, so I would want to hear their ideas and try to figure out ways to accomplish this. I do support the establishment of statewide curriculum materials and social studies coordinators.


MIKE SHOWER, Senate District O

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

 Yes. While I want to be careful with expending “other people’s money” which is far too easy to do – I also understand the value of our history – those who don’t remember their history are doomed to repeat it. Careful and judicious expenditure for useful projects I can support.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Reference my answer to question 1. In short my answer might be “yes”. However, I would need to see the project, expense incurred and relative return on the investment of taxpayer dollars. I studied history at the US Air Force Academy so this topic is closer to me than one might imagine. I am simply doing my best to be a good steward of the limited resources available at the state level and the many demands we face. I support a strong university program but wish to see them do a better job of funding operations under their land grant status. It is something we’ve discussed at length with the university president and many board of regent members.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

 I know I keep saying “maybe” – but – maybe. The historical aspect I mentioned in answer #1 reverberates here. I am a student of history and remembering it is more important for our future than most realize. I’d probably lean more towards yes on this question but would like to see the details.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Lean yes on this answer. Teaching history in Jr & Sr HS is important – this is related.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public Education Do you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

An easy one! Yes.


WILLY KEPPEL, Senate District S

In questions one through four, my answer is, conditionally I could see myself supporting your projects, but, your questions as to funding are not nearly specific enough.

On question five, I would gladly support history back into the curriculum for high school students and would be even happier to sponsor legislation for grade school requirements.

I’m an avid reader and history of one sort or another fills my library. It’s a rare nonfiction that gets space in my collection of books.

Thanks for asking!

 

GERAN TARR, Senate District J
(response arrived on October 30, after the October 10th deadline)

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle? 

Yes.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Yes to both. Unfortunately because the university appropriation is a single line item they decide the cuts when funding is reduced. This has led to conversations about working on the budget in a more detailed way. This could help so legislators understand all the programs and benefits to our state.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

Yes. I celebrate our country and form of government. With that said, I think this could bring up difficult feelings about our colonial past. I think that this effort can only be successful if we confront that as a key part of telling this history.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

 Yes. This seems like a pretty small investment for something with great impact. I think you may want to engage legislators more because I don’t think I was aware of this and that could help with securing state funds. For example, I would have shared this opportunity in our newsletters and constituent meetings. Others likely would as well. This is a way for connecting with our neighbors and that’s always good.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

Is three years the standard? I’m not familiar with the standard. This is critically important knowledge. I tend to support having government or citizenship as a standalone requirement because we need to improve civic engagement and high school is really the best place to capture people, and before they can vote. I would like that as a requirement in addition to three years for geography, social studies, or history. I would support coordinators in DEED. I also want us to push to update the Alaska Studies curriculum to better represent Alaska history and more fully educate students about indigenous history and the history and contributions of the many communities of people that call Alaska home.

 

JESSE KIEHL, Senate District B
(response arrived after the October 10th deadline)

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle? 

Yes, I support these efforts.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

I spent many years before becoming a legislator working to secure funding for SLAM in the capital city. While on the Juneau Assembly I was proud to help fund investments in our city museum as well. I will keep working to make sure the parts of Alaska history contained in documents and artifacts are well cared for and accessible to researchers and the public. I am also proud to keep championing the university system and it’s crucial role in our state.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

This sounds like a good idea to me.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes, I support this. It will be easier to accomplish in partnership with nonprofits that can lend time, volunteer effort, and some matching funds to the effort.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

The more years of high-quality social studies instruction a person gets, the better equipped they are to think deeply about our society. The exact graduation requirement for each district is a matter best decided by the State Board of Education & Early Development and individual districts’ locally elected school boards. I support the department helping local districts with curriculum, technical assistance, and resources. Social studies is one place EED could help a lot.


REBECCA HIMSCHOOT, House District 02

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Yes. In the past decade the State of Alaska took major steps to create the Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building to house the State Museum and Archives. In a tour of that building prior to its opening I was impressed with the curatorial detail (deep freezers, climate control, etc.) the building contains. Keeping Alaska’s records close to Alaska is important and I support our delegation’s commitment to retaining the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

While I value a conservative approach to budgeting public dollars, history not preserved is history lost. Alaska is a uniquely “young” state and our historians have done an incredible job of preserving our history. I support maintenance of effort at previous levels of funding for historical records and research training and the programs of study at UA.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

I support a temporary commission to assist in celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and would like to see this commission consist of qualified historians in the state, including meaningful Indigenous representation.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

If this event can be matched with private sector funds I support revitalizing the Alaska History Day competition.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

As an educator I am strongly in support of the review and establishment of social studies standards for K-12 education. These standards will only become meaningful if educators in the field are supported to explore and implement them, so I also support funding for DEED positions to provide expertise for the revised social studies standards; I will add, the need for these positions mirrors the need for similar expertise in science, and I will support either both or neither. In current education trends the entire reason for learning social studies and science has been lost to the “skills training” of reading and writing, and empowered and supported educators can ignite curiosity in their students with robust and place-based science and social science curriculum.


ANDI STORY, House District 03

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Absolutely! As a legislator I have advocated to keep open the National Archives in Seattle. I support efforts to digitize records and address deferred maintenance in federal and state buildings.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Again, absolutely. This is an investment important to us, future generations and research.  This is valuable vital knowledge which must be recorded and done with great respect and accuracy for our thousands of years of Alaskan Native history of traditional knowledge and cultural values. Training staff is critical.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

Yes I support this.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes I support this. I am a strong supporter of education and this appeals to some of our youth.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

This is not an easy question as school funding for students through the foundation formula in the base student allocation per pupil has not been raised since 2017. Some course offerings in career tech classes and the arts have been cut. To add additional graduation requirements means adding new teachers certified to teach social studies teachers. And something would need to be cut. We are in a time of a statewide and national teacher shortage. While federal dollars have been invested, they are for covid mitigation and unfinished learning efforts. I support local control right now as each district is in a unique crisis situation. The Department of Education has been cut back also yet just received increases state funding to focus on literacy in Pre–K thru 3rd grade children. I believe they should also have Alaska Native cultural studies coordinators as a priority. The political will to invest more in education has been difficult to pass. My House Bill 272 increases the Base Student Allocation but did not pass this year. Advocacy from groups such as yours is necessary. Onward!


ANDY JOSEPHSON, House District 13

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Yes, I would contribute to that effort in any way possible.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Yes, I favor increased funding. My efforts reflect this value. I have worked with Steve Rollins, UAA chief librarian, to restore programs to funding like SLED and OWL only to have them vetoed by Governor Dunleavy. The answer to all the above is, “yes”.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

Absolutely. Just prepared for a gubernatorial veto. I sit on the House Finance Committee and can play a meaningful role in helping this happen.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Certainly. Let me take the opportunity to note that between 1991-Present, I have a Type A Teacher’s Certificate with a secondary history credential. In 1994 I turned down scholarships to Wake Forest (full) and Pepperdine (partial) as well as other doctoral history programs to attend law school. History is my passion.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

Certainly. Note that legislation was considered reducing the 3 year requirement. I opposed that.


ZACH FIELDS, House District 17

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Emphatically, YES.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Yes and yes. Considering the tiny cost of programs like this compared to the cost of mega-dividends, it’s easy for me to advocate for all the programs I care about because they’re quite affordable if we keep dividend spending under control (which admittedly is difficult).

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

Yes.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

Personally I think social studies/history should be part of students’ curriculum every year (so 4 years by graduation), but I also think it can get dangerous for legislators to micromanage how districts, administrators, and teachers manage schools, so I’d want to understand how districts around the state are handling this now before committing to a statewide mandate. I do support funding a social studies coordinator and think it’s particularly important to help teachers and districts provide historically accurate education regarding history of colonization, and Alaska Native history, which is little understood by many Alaskans much less a teacher who has newly arrived from the Lower 48.


LYN FRANKS, House District 18

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Yes – I am aware of this as a history adjunct professor. I am very concerned that Alaskans have access to their history!

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

I absolutely fully support the UA programs of historical and cultural studies.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

This is an anniversary unmatched in history. As an Americanist, I am so excited for this opportunity. I will help with this endeavor.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Absolutely. I intend as a legislator to forward fund the educational budget and to consider inflationary funding adjustments.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

I support full multi-year social studies courses. I support the establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide. In addition, academic freedom is an imperative for educators to teach content of their choosing based on their professional expertise.


GENEVIEVE MINA, House District 19

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Yes.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Yes. I’ve used materials from the UAA/APU Archives and Special Collections to learn more about our own Alaska political history, and support funding these programs for the benefit of future generations.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

It depends on the legislation and budget of the commission. I support efforts to ensure Indigenous voices are at the forefront of the commission. States like Massachusetts and Nebraska have implemented state-level commissions which require representation from historically excluded communities and local Tribes. I understand supporting state funding to leverage federal funds for the commission, but my priority is to pass a comprehensive fiscal place to fund our basic state services. I am also curious about potential private funding to help match state funds as well.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

I support the spirit of the Alaska History Day competition, but it depends on our budget situation. In terms of boosting our public education system and promoting state civic engagement, I want to ensure that we can adequately fund our public school system and increase the BSA, as well as funding the University of Alaska system. However, I would be open to using state funding for Alaska History Day if we can leverage federal and/or private dollars for the competition.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

I do support a requirement of three years of social studies and history, since it is the standard for most states, but would like to learn more about the recommendations for updating the state’s education standards. I would be open to establishing a social studies coordinator, particularly to ensure Indigenous voices can be part of developing curriculum materials. I myself am a 2014 graduate of Bettye Davis East High School, and while I met these requirements, there were definitely missed opportunities for me to engage earlier in topics I believe Alaskans should know about, including: the impacts of colonization in Alaska Studies, local government and state government, history of immigration in Alaska, and the complexity of our state budget. I love social studies and Alaska history and hope we can inspire more students in these subjects!


PAUL BAUER, House District 20

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

As a student of history, amateur historian, and professional investigator my answer is YES. My worldly travels, living and working in Europe, deployed to Pacific and Central American regions gave me an appreciation for Alaska to have historical landmarks, museums, and most of all keeping our records safe. Yes.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

I favor increased funding to collect and maintain historical records and programs based on RFPs as needed. Training people should come from the universities and seek people with experience. There must be many volunteers in the community of amateurs with the skills and motivation to learn and do the research. For the university programs I would need to know the extent of student interest to support the university efforts. What has the historical community done to market, advertise and gain financial support?

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

Yes, it would be an honor to support and help market the idea and proposals.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

I would have to see a private community effort through contributions and fundraising for a possible funding formula to match.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

I do support the school requirement. My best subjects are social studies where I achieved high grades in all levels of schooling. Social study and history subjects lead to many great careers and develop a broad look at important issues.


TED EISCHEID, House District 22

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

Yes. I would encourage our federal delegation to fully fund this effort, and keep our Alaska history alive and “at our fingertips”.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

I favor increased state funding “if we can afford it”. The issue with the SOA funding is ultimately revenues. I support history infrastructure given budgetary realities.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

I support this concept. However, ultimately funding for this must compete with funding for other priorities. I would like us to come up with a stable fiscal plan so we better fund initiatives like this.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes, but again we need the context of a sustainable fiscal plan for the SOA.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

Yes, I do support this concept. However, I am also sensitive to the impact of state mandates on local governments. I would want to consult with them first on the impacts this could create before committing.

Final Statement:  I am currently a Planner for the Mat-Su Borough. Earlier in my career I staffed our local Historical Preservation commission. This gave me the opportunity to learn about section 106 and related law and concerns. I would bring this knowledge and support to the state legislature if elected. You can learn more about me at: https://tedforalaska.com


LAWRENCE “LARRY” WOOD, House District 25

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle?

I would prefer Alaska’s records be archived in south central Alaska where they would be accessible to Alaskans First, not Last.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

History is very important to me. We learn from history. Yes, I support the U of A’s programs, so long as the cost is reasonable. It was admitted by the U of A during the governor’s attempt at budget cuts that the U of A could cut its budget by 35 percent without impact upon programs. This admission was made with the disclosure of there being a duplication of management across the campuses.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

In Alaska, maybe. I can think of a couple of other commissions that are duplication of federal commissions and unnecessary. Maybe, this should be a part of an education budget.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

I support this as part of an education budget, but not anything woke that is part and parcel of the distortion of history today.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

I would not support the establishment of such a position. Any current changes are in response to the Marxist woke agenda, and LGBTQ agenda that is playing out in our schools. No. Comprehensive reviews of subject matter need to be undertaken by the school district parents, school boards, and industry. Local control needs to be exercised.


ASHLEY CARRICK, House District 35

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle? 

Yes, I support the care and digitization of Alaska records. While this is a Federal funding issue that will need to be resolved primarily by the Congressional delegation, legislators have historically lent their support to specific budgetary and legislative priorities as well. As a legislator, I would work with my colleagues to support federal funding for a new National Archives facility in Seattle.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

I am the strongest supporter of the University of Alaska in the race for House District 35. The University is integral to our community not only for its economic benefits, but also for its educational benefits, including the preservation and study of Alaska history and culture. One of the most devastating things to watch as the University experienced the incredible upheaval of Governor Dunleavy’s budget vetoes in 2019 was how many important programs were cut or drastically reduced including the History and the Northern Studies departments. We need to support important programs that help to preserve Alaska’s history and promote historical research. I look forward to supporting the University of Alaska and programs that can preserve and advance historical, cultural, and language knowledge.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

Yes, I support the creation of a commission. While this 250th anniversary long predates Alaska Statehood and even the purchase of Alaska, it is nonetheless important for Alaska to celebrate and recognize the anniversary of the United States. I would support creating a Semiquincentennial Commission and appropriating matching funds to help get the commission started.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes, I support returning Alaska’s History Day to a viable level of funding following the challenges of the COVID pandemic. It is important for Alaskan students to learn Alaska history, and this competition has a proven track record of inspiring students to learn about and share the history of the state. We need to invest in programs like these to help our students learn our history.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

Yes, I support these standards because students need to know how their government works. So many times on the campaign trail I have talked to voters who did not even know what the State Legislature is, which is frankly concerning. We need to make investments in better social studies programs including government classes. Having social studies coordinators within DEED will help to implement social studies programs statewide. I would support additional funding to pay for these coordinators, as they are essential to developing curriculum to meet these educational standards. 


WALTER FEATHERLY, House District 11
(response arrived on October 30, after the October 10th deadline)

  1. Funding for Federal ArchivesWould you lend your support to efforts by our congressional delegation to increase funding for care and digitization of Alaska records housed at the National Archives and Records Center in Seattle? 

Yes, absolutely, I would. As the General Counsel of Calista Corporation, one of the 12 Alaska Native Regional Corporations that holds an entitlement 6,500,000 million acres of Alaska lands, over 200,000 acres of which, more than fifty years later have yet to be conveyed, I know firsthand how Alaskans and federal agencies rely on NARA for documentation to settle land issues, such as land claims and disputes, state and Native land selections, and navigability through federally owned lands and waters.

  1. State Cultural ProgramsDo you favor increased state funding to collect and maintain Alaska historical records and programs to train people for historical research? Do you support the University of Alaska’s historical and cultural study programs?

Yes, I do.  Cutting the funding for these programs at Alaska’s institutions undermines the critical tasks of preserving and providing public access to historical records and increases the risk that these records will be lost, to the incalculable loss to our State, but also increases our dependence on institutions and individuals in others states to perform these functions.  Moreover, with sufficient budgets, these programs can be net contributors to the Alaska and local economies, as it takes an adequately funded staff to apply for the federal and private grants that are available.

  1. 250th Anniversary of Declaration of IndependenceDo you support the creation of such a commission and modest state funding to match expected federal funding to support the commission’s mission?

Yes.

  1. Alaska History DayDo you support state funding to return Alaska’s History Day to viability?

Yes.

  1. History and Social Studies Standards for Public EducationDo you support the proposed requirement of three years of social studies (which could include geography, government, citizenship, history or social studies) as a graduation requirement for Alaska high school students? Would you support establishment of social studies coordinators in the Department of Education to assist teachers statewide, especially with curriculum materials that would help meet these standards?

Yes, absolutely.

Click here for PDF of AHS’ 2022 Candidate Questionnaire and Responses Received by the October 10th Deadline





UAF Archives Open House

Date Posted: October 16, 2022       Categories: News

You’re Invited!

Come explore the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks during an Open House on Thursday, October 27, 2022 from 4:45 to 7pm.

Please come help us celebrate the archives and learn about our recent projects.

Refreshments will be served.





2022 AHS Awards

Date Posted: October 15, 2022       Categories: News

The Alaska Historical Society presented their annual awards recognizing accomplishments in history at their annual business meeting on October 14, 2022.

Longtime Alaska journalist and author Tom Kizzia has been honored as Historian of the Year. Kizzia, a former Anchorage Daily News reporter and author of the recent book, Cold Mountain Path, was recognized both for his current book and long career documenting Alaska history.

“Through lyrical writing and solid historical research, the book tells the story of McCarthy, one of Alaska’s boom towns gone bust in the mid-20th century,” said the AHS in its recognition. The Society was also impressed that Kizzia directed some of the book sale proceeds to the McCarthy-Kennecott Historical Museum.

Kizzia’s award, formally known as the James H. Ducker Historian of the Year Award, is named for longtime Alaska Professor James Ducker, who served for 30 years as editor of the Society’s journal, Alaska History.

Other awards announced at the AHS annual meeting include:

Anchorage attorney Donald Craig Mitchell, received the Evangeline Atwood Award for Excellence, given to an individual for significant long-term contributions to Alaska history. Mitchell was recognized for his books contributing to our understanding of Alaska Native history, the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and specifically his most recent book, Tribal Sovereignty in Alaska: How it Happened, What it Means.

The Anchorage Museum received the Esther Billman Award, given to a society, museum or organization for a project contributing to the preservation and understanding of Alaska history during the past year. It honors the longtime curator of Sitka’s Sheldon Jackson Museum. The Anchorage Museum was recognized for its long-standing commitment to preserving Alaska history and presenting it to Alaskans and out-of-state visitors alike in compelling and innovative ways.

Fairbanks historian Karen Brewster received the Barbara Sweetland Smith Pathfinder Award. The late Barbara Smith was a long-time historian, archivist and exhibit curator who specialized in documenting Alaska-Russia history. Brewster was recognized for her diligent work as editor of the Society’s landmark Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. She spent hundreds of hours fact-checking, verifying sources, proofreading and editing the contributions of many others for the 1,000+ page guide.

The Gastineau Channel Historical Society of Juneau was awarded the Elva Scott Local Historical Society Award, which recognizes an historical society or museum for its programs, newsletter, publication or a significant recent accomplishment. Scott was a founder of Homer’s Natural History Society and Pratt Museum, and then active member and long-time editor of the Eagle Historical Society’s newsletter. The Juneau-based society was recognized for the current edition (Volume 27, No. 1) of its Gastineau Heritage News, which highlights the dozens of newspapers published on both sides of the Gastineau Channel over the past 135 years.

AHS presented three awards in the Contributions to Alaska History Award category, which recognizes individuals or groups for projects, publications and other efforts that have significantly promoted and added to understanding Alaska history:

Historian Katherine J. Ringsmuth of Eagle River was recognized for seven years of work creating and directing the NN Cannery History Project to document cannery work, people and place. Her exhibit is entitled, “Mug Up: Language of Cannery Work,” and is on display at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau.

Diane Olthuis of Hope was recognized for her years of dedicated service as director of the Hope & Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum, president of its historical society and president of the Kenai Peninsula Historical Association. Olthuis is the author of several books, one on local trapper Harry Johnson and another a survey of the buildings of Hope.

Archivist R. Bruce Parham of Anchorage was recognized for his work on the Society’s Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and for the guide he helped prepare for the centennial of women’s suffrage in the United States. Parham also has been active with the Cook Inlet Historical Society for years, serving as its secretary and helping with its monthly programs and special conferences, including the one commemorating the Anchorage Centennial.

The Terrence M. Cole Student and Beginning Professional Travel Scholarship Award was awarded to University of Alaska Anchorage senior Ava Martin. She was recognized for a paper presented at AHS’s annual conference entitled “The Historic Environment and Best Practice in Scotland and Alaska,” drawing on her year-long study of the heritage, tourism and historic preservation practices in Scotland. The award is named for the longtime UAF history professor and author of several books.

The Morgan and Jeanne Sherwood Award for best article published in Alaska History, AHS’s historical journal, was awarded to retired UAF professor William Schneider. His article, “When a Small Typo Has Big Implications” looked at the federal trust responsibility to Alaska Natives, initiated in 1867 when the U.S. acquired Alaska. The late Professor Sherwood was a longtime Alaska historian and he and his wife endowed this award with a $500 annual prize.

AHS awarded two special certificates this year to Alaskans who contributed to Alaska’s history over their careers:

Patience Frederiksen, recently retired director of the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museums, was recognized for enormous assistance to AHS, making staff available and providing important background information on state budget issues.

The late Gary C. Stein was recognized for work as an Alaska historian in the 1970s and ’80s and service as AHS president. He published numerous articles and book reviews in the Society’s journal and published his seminal work on Dr. James Taylor White of the U.S. Revenue Marine Service in Alaska.

The special President’s Award was awarded to William Schneider of Fairbanks for his ground-breaking initiative on the Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and his overall contributions to the AHS, where he has been a longtime board member and former president. The award, presented by the AHS president, is better known as the “beaver log award” because it is an authentic log felled by an Alaska beaver. This year’s log came from the Upper Yukon River.





Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Project Jukebox

Date Posted: September 19, 2022       Categories: News


In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) in December 1971, the UAF Oral History Program has just launched the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Project Jukebox online interactive website that combines oral history recordings, film, photos and documents to tell the story behind the fight for passage of ANCSA, its role in Alaska’s history, and its legacy (https://jukebox.uaf.edu/ancsa).

The ANCSA legislation, which passed Congress and was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1971, resolved long-standing issues surrounding aboriginal land claims in Alaska and stimulated long-lasting economic development through the allocation of 44 million acres of land and nearly $1 billion to Alaska Native corporations.

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Project Jukebox emphasizes the recollections of people who are important to the Native land claims movement, and is an opportunity to recognize those who worked to bring about this settlement, to assess the legislation that was created, and to evaluate impacts fifty years later. The story of ANCSA has been written in many published works, however, hearing from the people in their own words about their struggles, their successes, and what actually happened offers a richer and more personal experience. By listening to these first-hand accounts, students of land claims can better understand what their leaders went through to build a better world. It includes: ten new oral history interviews with those involved in the passage of ANCSA whose stories have not yet been heard or who reflect on its longer-term legacies; a few historically important archival recordings of key leaders of the land claims movement; and links to ANCSA-related film clips in the Alaska Film Archives.

Funding for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Project Jukebox was provided by the Alaska State Library through an Interlibrary Cooperation Grant based on American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.