The Elizabeth Peratrovich Day parade walks through downtown Petersburg in front of the courthouse building, Feb. 16. The Petersburg Arts Council plans to erect a mural of the civil rights activist on the front of the building in May. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)

Petersburg celebrated Elizabeth Peratrovich Day on Sunday along with traditional Tlingit dancers visiting from Wrangell. Peratrovich was Tlingit and born in Petersburg. As a civil rights activist, she spoke in front of the Alaska Territorial Legislature against segregation in 1945. After her speech, lawmakers passed the first anti-discrimination law in the nation. This year, Peratrovich was the first Alaska Native to be minted on a U.S. coin.

Tlingit dancers from Petersburg and Wrangell along with a Unangan dancer perform together at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Day celebration in Petersburg, Feb. 16. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)

On Sunday, about 200 people marched through downtown Petersburg in a parade and then celebrated at the John Hanson Sr. Hall. There was singing, dancing, speeches, and feasting.

KFSK’s Angela Denning created this audio postcard of the event:

The celebration event raised over $4,000 for the Elizabeth Peratrovich mural project being planned for the outside of the Petersburg Courthouse.

Diane Benson, politician, actor, and writer, and Tlingit from Sitka along with Avery Sakamoto, a Tlingit from Petersburg recite Elizabeth Peratrovich’s speech in 1945 to the Alaska Territorial Legislature. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)
People crowd into the John Hanson Sr. Hall in Petersburg to hear singing, dancing, and speeches from numerous performers at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Day celebration, Feb. 16. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)
Ross Nannauck III of Petersburg (with Kake roots) performs with dancers from Wrangell at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Day celebration, Feb. 16. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)