Juneau, Alaska - July 26, 2001
Juneau ANB Hall 320 W. Willoughby Ave.
11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. group testimony
4 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. public testimony
A more tolerant Alaska that celebrates our diversity of people and cultures.
Tolerance Commission member Denise Morris reminded people to send in their suggestions on the sentencing of Paint Ball Incident defendant Charles Wisemen to Anchorage District Court Judge Peter Ashland before August 15th. Wiseman faces a maximum of three consecutive years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
The judge can also impose community service. Judge Ashland asked for public comments and suggestions (according to a July 24 Anchorage Daily News article). Letters can be addressed to John Novak, Chief Assistant District Attorney, 310 K St. Suite 520, Anchorage, AK 99501
Alberta Aspen, Alaska Native
Sisterhood Grand Camp #2 - Alaska Civil Rights Leader Elizabeth
Alberta is Tlingit, Raven from the dog salmon clan. Honored to speak to you about Elizabeth Peratrovich. Outstanding Alaska Native as well as one of our best Alaska citizens. Shows what can be done if you are willing to speak out against bigotry and prejudice. The fight for equal rights. The story of her life is highlighted by the Tlingit Haida Central Council. She led the passage of Alaska's equal rights law. This presentation covers the highlights of Alaska's history. From the beginning, Alaska Natives were treated as "uncivilized. Alaska Natives suffered from the moment the Russians arrived in the 1700s. Unofficial criteria for citizenship was English language. Uncivilized acts included going to fish camp.
Jim Duncan, Dept. of Administration: State policy on hiring minorities. Current employment statistics.
We are never satisfied that we are doing the best we can to hire minorities. I will give you the figures but know that we are always working to improve our hiring practices to reflect Alaska's diversity. Currently there are 14,700 permanent executive employees. Of those 2,536 are from minority background. That's about 18 percent. 497 African Americans, 325 Hispinac, 723 Alaska Natives, 7 percent. .
New hires: 22.4 percent of new hires are an ethnic minority so it shows we are improving. Low point 1991 was 14.4 percent. Now at 18.02 percent. Urban and rural center breakout. Anchorage Fairbanks and Juneau and the other communities. Rural workforce 18.2 percent. Hire native workforce in rural Alaska. We can provide you with more details if needed. We have a minority hiring policy. Underutilization is determined by Governor's Equal Employment Opportunity office. Hiring managers get a list of "underutilized applicants. Electronic recruitment system. Division of Personnel is open to suggestions of what else might be done. We've started to visit more job fairs to get the word out of available jobs. Workplace Alaska website lists job vacancies. We notify Native Organizations of vacancies. We conduct training sessions in partnership with job service centers statewide. We have training in harrassment and discrimination. If this committee or member of public has suggestions for change I'd be happy to hear them.
The diversity training package is under development. We do not have one in place at this time.
Sharon Barton, Director of Personnel: We are just beginning to analyze why people are leaving state government. So we don't know whether minorities are leaving sooner. The statistics don't show that minorities are leaving.
For the classified system process promotions are made on a competitive basis. It should give everyone the basis to compete on an equal basis. We'd be interested on input as you go through the hearing process to get ideas.
We see the need for a package of diverstiy training. Definitely for our supervisors and managers. A how to on how to conduct recruitments, because a person may not interview well but has other skills to help them get the job. And specific workgroup training to be more successful in a team to work together. We do not have any required training in state government. That's one of our goals. Human Rights Commission is the agency in charge of hearing complaints, but we encourage investigation of complaints at all levels of government. Insurance benefits. Would Department support benefits for same-sex couples? That's a policy-level decision.
We haven't developed the diversity training yet. We plan to do a lot of discussion with groups around the state to make sure we meet their needs.
Follow-up evaluations for folks...
Deputy Commissioner Russ Webb, Dept. Health and Social Services - Representing Karen Perdue.
Glad to have the opportunity to speak to you about our department. Thank you and the governor to shed the light on a topic that we too often ignore. We all just want intolerance to go away. Need to keep the promise of equal rights alive. I have several folks here from our departments here today to give you specific department information. Booklet overview of our department. We have a presence in more communities than any other state governement agency. We serve Alaska's most vulnerable populations. Many of those we serve face discrimination every day in many ways, whether economic or race or disability. Challenges for kids in foster care and for kids in psychiatric care and we are very aware of the difficulties our clients face.
We try have Our workforce reflect the clients we serve. Department employees better percentages than state government in general but we still have some work to do.
Came on with the state in 1980.
Nome and Bethel facilities we did onsite recruitment. Radio,
newspaper. Workforce delelopment plan. Contract out to have someone
come in and look at our workforce and counsel us on how to
Angela Salerno, Program Coordinator, Division of Public Assistance:
We administer federal and state
welfare programs. 16,144 families. Adult public assistance 14,300;
Medicaid 30,000 people. More statistics. More than half of our
caseloads are white. (statistics handout) Welfare Reform changed
immigration programs. Immigrant barred from services for five
years. Those folks in the country illegally are not eligible
for our services. To apply for our services they must say whether
they are U.S. citizens. Under what circumstances do we ask for
proof of citizenship? All applicants receive a form and sign,
swearing that the information is true. Workers routinely ask
INS arrest is not sufficent evidence to deny services.
Ernie Turner, Director, Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse:
Born in Alaska more than 70
years ago just like Judge Stewart. I've seen a lot of changes
in my life. I was also homeless and was a chronic alcoholic.
Now I'm a treatment provider in various states. Last year and
a half working for the state. Raised in Episcopal village in
Anvik. Sent by steamboat to Nenana. Temporary partition on the
steamboat separated native students from white students. Signs
everywhere no Natives or dogs allowed. No people experience
As director of this division,
we are the smallest division with the biggest problem in the
state. We are a grant program for 38 treatment agencies around
the state. Doesn't include our suicide prevention or fetal alcohol
programs. Last year we served 7,000 - About 47 percent Alaska
Native, 44 percent white, 3 percent American Indians. Alaska
Native and American Indians probably have the biggest problem
around the state. Our service providers have required training
in history of Alaska Natives and are trying to utilize Native
elders. We have a huge waiting list for people needing treatment.
Our budget wasn't funded this year in the Legislature. We have
a priority list for services. Pregnant women, IV drug users are
first on the list. One person I had
15 member advisory board on alcohol and drug abuse. Appointed by governor. Three vacancies. Five Alaska Natives, 3 African American, the rest Caucasion.
38 employees -Six Alaska Natives and four African Americans. Easier to work for a Native corporation because salaries are better. State employees not paid as much. Discrimination is not as overt as it used to be. Native women at Cook Inlet Pre-trial have to empty their purse before visiting someone at prison, whereas white woman did not. (specific incident). Communication is difficult in rural areas. Don't have sign language people and there are many Alaska Natives with severe hearing problems.
Community Councils require
treatment centers to not have felons in their community-based
treatment centers. It's not a federal or state requirement but
it's something that happens all the time. We just can't get approval
We need to convince the municipalities to change their codes.
A judge. 140 days in jail or 140 days in treatment. I chose the easy way, the treatment. I have no easy answers for why it works for some and not for others, but it worked for me.
Alcoholism is an illness. Most people in this state don't believe that.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Special treatment is needed for working with this population. Attention span. What is being done for treatment for kids that may or may not be done with fetal alcohol syndrome. Rep. Dyson, Rep. Joule, Karen Perdue had a fetal alcholol summit. Succeeded in getting a $30 million grant from federal government. More innovative than has been done anywhere. Early diagnosis is key. Training to provider agencies across a variety of disciplines to educate about fetal alcohol syndrome. It is an issue that transends all our Departments training services.
$2 million request by the Governor to eliminate the wait list for services.
Theresa Tanoury, Director, Division of Family and Youth Services:
Discuss issues that were raised at a previous meeting. Indian Child Welfare Act. There has been a troubling message delivered to you at previous meetings that I take quite seriously. Our division's work is always emotional. We are intervening in families and with children in families and what you've heard is quite real. The complaints from folks are seriously considered. We see patterns and develop training and we are always changing.
Francine Eddy Jones, Director Social Services, Tlingit Haida:
Tlingit name Kosteen Eagle
wolf clan from around the Juneau area. Manager of tribal family
and youth service program. Highlighted Indian Child Welfare Act.
Passed November 1978. Intent was to protect integrity of native
families, try to place children who are removed from their home
because of abuse in the home of a Native family. Set standards
for adoption. Implementation of Act is through court system,
service providers, etc. Tribal/State Collaboration Group. On
a federal level states must work with tribes to address compliance
to Act and improve how children are protected in the state. We
meet three times a
Training curriculum introduced
and implemented. Hired statewide ICWA coordinator. Developed
a tribal help desk. Tribal children were getting lost in Anchorage
and tribes can call to identify relatives of kids. Trainers are
selected by tribal caucus. Two day extensive course of ICWA and
diversity training. Special case workers do review every three
months for every Alaska native child. Follow the services. Every
30 days there is an evaluttion to attempt to
Disproportionate number of kids in Native families have come into our custody. Ongoing challenge to meet the goals of the Indian Child Welfare Act. The partnership with tribes is the key. Also treatment for families is critical.
On an as-needed basis we use community resources.
The department will provide that breakout.
We do not investigate reports of abuse based on any economic factor. The problem transcends all income levels and our caseload reflects that, but no, we don't have hard data.
The Public Defender agency caseload is overwhelming. We need more funding to make sure all individuals get legal representation.
ICWA; Majority of tribes do not have tribal attorneys. So the public defenders do get a majority.
Low because we've been watching it. It's at 6 or 7 percent.
When treatment isn't available,
the kids stay with the foster family longer. It's something troubling
we deal with all the time. Anytime we intervene to take a child,
that action goes to court and the action is reviewed by a judge
and the decision is made by a judge. There are strong emotions
and they are very real. Individual actions of employees are monitored.
It's often difficult to sort
Yes, there are several. Legislative audits have been done. The ombudsman's office has investigated us. We look for patterns on an informal internal basis all the time.
Janet Rider, DOT Human Resources Manager:
DOT has two EEO programs. One
monitors activities on construction programs. The other monitors
activities for DOT employees. We are in the process of developing
a training program. Trying to get 20 interns who will go to work
Handout: summary of complaints. 26 cases.
Human Rights Commission was
actively involved in cases a few years back. Doesn't move through
them as quickly now. Don't know why. Must be staffing-
Mildred Boesser, PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays):
Thank you for what you are
doing. I have testified at hearings where I felt no one was listening.
I truly believe you are listening. Husband and I have raised
four children here. I am representing PFLAG. Parents, Families
and Friends of
We testify on legislation that
threaten the lives of gay and lesbians. We work to secure equal
protection. There is no protection for our group as a protected
class under the law. The statement that homosexuals want special
rights is not
Get to know someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender in the community. As a Christian it pains me that most of the hatred toward this population is from the Christian community. Christians should speak up in their church. U.S.Senate is looking at laws to limit rights for gay and lesbian community. Support adding sexual orientation to state's list of protected human rights groups. Taking action against discrimination and violence helps our community. Take a stand against legislation that is hateful to gays and lesbians. When bills come up that specifically pick on one group we must always take a stand against them. Individual efforts are needed. Materials provided.
There is a training of overcoming homophobia at the University of Alaska Southeast this year.The speaker is from LISTEN of New York City.
I'd say we are regressive.
As for parts of the state, I'd say the most open community is
Juneau. The Mat-Su was dangerous. The secret is education and
getting to know someone when it comes to discrimination. The
minute you get
Byron Mallott, President of First Alaskans Foundation:
Want to chat with you briefly
about my position as co-chair of Governor's Rural Task Force
on Governance. If you haven't read it, I ask you to take a look
at the forward. Our task force came in the wake of the Venetie
decision that said
Alaska Humanities Forum is
critical to helping us bridge the divide. Alaska is really a
third-world nation in many, many ways. We don't spend enough
time thinking about this. Some of our population can do anything
and everything. A
We also support the Bridge
Builders efforts. Had an opportunity to view an album of photos
from the recent 500-member event at the Alaska Native Heritage
Center. The issues they are addressing and that you are addressing
seem to arrive at a particular time in our history that we must
grasp. We can't take tolerance and understanding and dialogue
as coming together as people for granted. We have to keep working
at it. I have been talking about the
Byron disagrees. The Alaska
Native population should be special. People have lambasted me
when I have said that. But it's true.I have difficulty articulating
it. We are the only group in the state that can ask for change
of the Alaska State seal, for example. There is nothing there
that represents us. We want who we are to be celebrated. We are
different. The role of Alaska Natives should be part of the value
structure of the University, our education system,
Chava Lee, Juneau Jewish Community: President of the Board.
Thank you for the invitation.
I moved to Juneau 30 years ago. Atmosphere in Jewish community
welcomed me. My children have educated me about the problems
that are occuring today. Hurtful actions and statements. As a
community we have chosen to not make waves. Anti-semitism is
a hideous problem. So many stereotypes. Son came home asking
if I knew that Jews owned all the banks and the media. He was
hoping to come into some money pretty soon. Current derogatory
term in schools is "what a jew." It means
Isabella Brady, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp #1, ANS Camp#4, Sitka
Spoke in native tongue. I'm sorry we have to have a commission like this to deal with the problems we have in this state. She is Tlingit from Sitka. She is Tlingit, Tsimshian,and Chinese. 77 years old. I've been in education for more than 50 years. Sitka was like the deep south with respect to racism. I was spit upon, rocks thrown at me, etc. This just happened to my grandson two months ago. Just two months ago. My daughter reported it to the police and they did nothing. There was a young man in Sitka who was urinated on. I just don't understand why people don't like me because my skin is brown. Why? I was told you can wash and wash and wash and you can't take off the brown. I went away to college and was worried but I was actually celebrated because they thought of me as their little Eskimo from Alaska.
I don't think Alaskans are really concerned about diversity. I took some children to the Eskimo World Olympics. He jumped up and touched the ceiling. What has the state done for these Olympics? Nothing. Why shouldn't this be celebrated? This should be a huge part of Alaska. This allows our culture to be learned.
Dei Awe Committee means "that's
enough." We've had enough of the discrimination. Formed
June 9 2001. This is new commission of parents and educators.
Alternative School is deplorable. Inequity in education. Worked
at Mt. Edgecumbe for 14 years. It was terrible. Can you imagine
Those who practice racism often
deny it. It is time for us walk forward with our heads up. We
have been dealing with prejudice since whites arrived in Alaska.
Schools that graduated successful native leaders have been closed.
I recommend Diane as a presentor of Elizabeth Peratrovich. I guess she gave a fabulous presentation in Sitka. I've heard a lot about it. Problems with Sitka police department. Alaska Native Brotherhood has been working with them a great deal.
Al McKinley, Sr.
Executive Committee, grand
camp. Born in Hoonah, AK was in Armed forces. Got a degree in
accounting. Worked for federal government. Retired in 1994. Many
Native organizations complain about discrimination in Alaska.
The paint ball incident is meant to cripple our people. I know
about discrimination. Before statehood it was bad. Do Natives
have equal sentencing by our judges? Does Alaska Legislature
give us justice? No. Limited entry permit for fishermen. In Hoonah
we had 35 to 40 permits. Now we have three. These permits were
not to our advantage. We do have discrimination in all forms
of government. So many of our people are out of a job. Look at
the percentages of Native Hire in contracting. Even building
the ANB Hall. We wanted Native hire and the unions took us to
court. Subsistence. We are granted rural priority and what does
the media do? They paint it as special privelege for Natives.
Only the Natives. It's for all rural residents. Our Native people
are quiet. We are scared to put in an
Alaska resident 19 years. Worked for DOT. Was fired. I wanted to talk to the Commissioner and was shut out. I would like a way to have a quicker solution than the two years it takes with the Human Rights Commission. I contacted Janet Rider, the Human Resources Manager and she didn't want to talk to me. I hope the commission can set up a separate entity to address these issues instead of having the commissioners talk to each other and take the same line. Unemployed for about eight months. No one will hire me now because I was fired by the state. I went to my union and they told me that they don't protect human rights laws they only protect their contract. I'm caught in a trap. I first started working for Alaska Marine Hwy. I was written up for being away from my desk one time when I was sick. I was in the bathroom for 15 minutes. Yet smokers can go smoke two cigarettes no problem. My problem has been going for about two years.
Yes, I do believe it would help. The training wasn't substantial that I received from the Dept. of Administration.
Before I begin my remarks, I would like to say "gunalcheesh" to Gov. Knowles, Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer and Commission members for the opportunity to speak. Discrimination, prejudice and racism permeate every corner of our state, past and present. There has been a lack of action on discrimination. For years, the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and the Alaska Federation of Natives have sent resolutions to state agencies addressing these issues. Alaska history should be in the school curriculum. For instance, the accomplishments of the Alaska Native Brotherhood have never been noted. An example of just a few of them are: gained recognition of Alaska Native rights as citizens; won the right of Natives to vote; integrated public schools; brought hospitals for Natives in Alaska; helped champion the first Natives to be elected to the Alaska Territorial Legislature.There is rarely mention of Elizabeth Peratrovich a true leader. I thought I was here to be heard, not to be hurried. My personal concern is the Dept of Family and Youth Services. Natives are placed in non-native homes. Once a native child is placed in a non-native home, is there follow up? Judicial system: Sentencing for natives is worse. My brother was killed by a non-native in a car accident and he served only three days in jail because they said he wasn't in a cross walk. High Native numbers in prisons due to longer sentences for natives- Public defenders are understaffed and underfunded. How is it that one of the richest states in the nation can claim lack of funding on these key issues? Please send a message to the State Legislature.
I have sat here throughout
the whole day while the state agencies did their dog and pony
show. I say that because if they are doing so well, how come
there is still discrimination in state government. Why didn't
anyone ask whether the minorities stayed in their jobs? Why didn't
anyone ask if there was an exit exam for why minorities don't
get hired. Politicians ignore the issues. Oh Yeah, I'll look
into that. That's the last you'll ever hear. Squeaky wheel gets
the grease. But what kind of grease do they give you. They just
push you aside, or give you something to do to keep you from
talking. I had my 72nd birthday Saturday, so I've been exposed,
experienced, seen some of the most atrocious things. I know discrimination
and racism when I see it. It's so institutionalized people just
tell you you are making trouble if you speak up.
Frank White, Sr.
I've left off a lot of things
because there's not enough time. Tribal leader of the wolf clan.
The wolf clan of Juneau. Thank you for taking on this topic.
I appreciate it. Even though we were granted rights. The right
to vote was guaranteed by Frank and Elizebeth Peratrovich. They
got us our rights but the discrimination just went under ground.
It's hidden. Some of our men joined World War I and World War
II. We went to defend our country. We've been fortunate for that.
Before the Peratrovich's came along, we were living in Alaska
long before other people. No rights. Now people from other countries
only have to be here for a few years to get rights we didn't
have for hundreds of years. I
Copies of books. Quotations
from Kennedy. I have a message for the Governor. Hand Clapping.
I have a message for the State. You're late, you're late, for
a very important date. Clapping throughout. The Nickname for
this state is the Last Frontier. The reason for the nickname
is that we have the
I was a civil rights trainer.
I worked for EEO. It was upsetting to hear the comments of state
agencies earlier today. These government agencies should be talking
to each other. They gave statistics for full time employees at
Racism is a social epidemic.
If you want to fix it you will find the funding. It will
Thank you for hearing us out.
First, a lot of things I've wanted to say were already said by
Selina Everson and Rosalee Walker and of course Ric. I was born
in Petersburg, which is predominantly Norwegian. My mother is
Cross cultural training for teachers. Respect.
Nancy Rongstad (summary of submitted written testimony
volunteered not to
Registered nurse, Mechanical
Engineer, wife and mother. Received biggest awakening to the
world of discrimination during my time working for the State
of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.
Males in the
Comments are philosophical.
I was trained to believe that all people were created equal.
My wife and I plan to adopt a girl from China. We have been foster
parents for black children, native children, even some whites
and two of our own. Old tolerance: Everyone has a right to believe
what they want. That provided a principal for religious beliefs.
New principle of tolerance: what everyone believes is right.
If that's the case there is no truth. If people believe that
racism is okay, that's wrong. Who you are equals what you believe.
For anyone to challenge someone's belief and lifestyle then becomes
prejudiced. That's my concern. Comment. Hate is not the opposite
of love, indifference is.
Debra Lee Gaffey
Lived in Juneau since 1967. Left for eight years. Had three children and came back here. I worked for the state about six years. Employed by HSS for last 12 years. I submitted a grievance which went on for a year through my union. I was assaulted in the workplace at HSS. He continued to stalk me in the department. It's been over a year and a half. I have now filed a lawsuit. The state did investigate the predator and he was investigated by a friend. They both work together on investigations. That doesn't work. I know of other women who have been physically assaulted by this person. I am a union representative and I hear about harrasment a lot. We need a neutral party to look into issues of discrimination and harassment. CSED has had a record of my husband not paying his child support yet I was told if I went on welfare they'd go after him, otherwise, the bills mount and the state doesn't bother going after him.
I've learned from the Tlingits
so I'll tell you about my family. My father was German. Discrimination
in Alaska. Old-timer vs. new comer. We've seen that with the
PFD. Highest per capita number of veterans but only state with
no Veterans Home. Seniors should be in the center of community
but they are on the outskirts in Juneau. Bus Services only run
during the day and seniors need night service much more. That
is discrimination. Conscious or unconscious. Been here since
1971. We don't have melting pot analogy. We don't have the
I'd like to share my concerns
as a citizen, Tlingit and Alaskan. I have family members that
are asian, black, native and white so I share their concerns.
I am an unemployed Indian and computer professional. Diversity
is good. When
Thank you for your time. And
thanks to the audience for coming here to share your experiences.
State employment and human resources issues. Sexual harassment.
Retaliation for filing a complaint. Discrimination. There is
very little support for changing things. No support. No reward
to working to improve things between managers and staff. No enforcement.
Lack of support for EEO issues from the Legislature, the Governor
and State Agencies. There is a
I rate private the best because they worry more about their reputation. Federal government is next, then State government. Legislature doesn't want to admit it exists. Governors come and go. Shuffle EEO off to another department. No reward for admitting you have problems.
Lived in Alaska since 1962. Masters of Education at the University of Alaska. I've been working for ASEA, NEA From what I've seen in state employment, Alaska Natives are unwelcome as employees. Workplace Alaska does not address minority hire. State systems allow bullies to prevail. This is a theme that we must explore. (submitted written detailed comments)
I don't know anyone here except Tom Stewart. Native Land Claims are important. Judge Stewart knows that. I'm not here representing any organization. I got two calls this morning asking if I was going to present. I have no definition of discrimination. I just know it. We all know it. I can say what I want to say better in Tlingit, but can't. We need to pull the rug out from under the BIA. We want to be able to say we know how to spend our money. We don't want the BIA to tell us. I was the first woman to be elected to the Central Council. We have been studied to death. With the prayers of the preachers behind us. We learned what our true feelings are. My children need this commission to do good things. The paintball splashed all over my children. We need to wash it off.
Hello. I don't know any of you except Judge Stewart. Tlingit Raven born in Douglas, raised in Juneau. My family is Taku tribe by way of Atlin. Went to Catholic school and Juneau High. Graduated in 1947. I'm a little bit older than Rosalee Walker. We had to fight our way to the Catholic school. I have grandchildren and great grandchildren in our school system. I didn't see much discrimination in the Catholic school. My issue is state social services. Trying to take care of my great grandchildren. Education system problems. Most of my children didn't graduate. State government workers talk at you. Not with you. I appreciated the comments of Selina and Ray and Rosalee.
Christopher Mills, Sr.
Hoonah. Single parent. Raised
my children myself. Discrimination still exists. Lot of dogs
run around in Hoonah. This dog doesn't even belong to me. I get
thrown in jail. When they do that it takes food out of my kids'
mouth. Whites have dogs and nothing happens. It's the same old
saying as the early 1900s. No dogs or indians allowed. I've never
did nothing wrong and the dog don't even belong to me. That animal
control officer don,t even have to look at him.
What is the definition of discrimination?
What are we operating under? First amendment rights. Freedom
of religion, freedom of speech or right of people to assemble.
People have a right to a belief whether other people agree
I've speaking for myself and other minorities. This is very important. I'm going to read it as fast as I can. I recently retired with the Teamsters. Statement of police activity. June 19, 1998. A group of officers talking outside of the Panhandle Bar. Someone stared at me from head to foot. I asked why he was giving me the evil eye. The police officer said he was looking at his tattoo. (reading from prepared statement) Skipped to police activity at the RV park. I have made a number of calls to arrange a meeting with Officer Bill Davis. No avail. Police officer harrassment based on his appearance. Wants police to take a sensitivity course to deal with cross-cultures. More minority police officers.
Jayne Andreen - Chair, City and Borough of Juneau Human Rights Commission.
Was established in 1993. One
of only two municipal governments dealing with discrimination
in the state. We attempt to resolve individual complaints. Nine
members appointed to two terms by the Assembly. We just got a
(Voice from audience)
No voice from Southeast Alaska natives. No southeast Alaska native on the commission. Why not? We would like a Southeast Alaska native on the commission.
Native. Born in Petersburg. Predominantly white community. I am quarter Norwegian. I was raised in Juneau. Want to tell you a story about Petersburg. I understand the dialogue between my white and native friends. The Indian Education Act. I have become a teacher. What little knowledge I do have was through this. Not enough education. My job was to teach songs and dances. We want to impress upon children (2nd and 3rd grade), all children. I can't express to you enough bringing awareness of our culture. Highlighting the differences eventually become similarities. These children love it. It makes me feel good that I was a part of this. Even as adults this can be beneficial. Open hearts and open minds. Need more of these programs in our school systems. People will be more empathetic toward our Native community through understanding our culture.
Joe Geldoff (No summary of testimony in commission's notes)
Benjamin Danny Kornell
Sergeant, Juneau Police Dept.
Tlingit. I work at the Juneau police department. I've been there
for almost 22 years. If you sit silent and see injustice and
don't act upon it then you are condoning it. Why are we here?
Why is the panel here? Did it start with the paintball incident?
If that's the case then I really
Jeremy Neldon, President of Southeast Alaska Gay and Lesbian Alliance
(played a cassette) Has lived in Juneau Alaska for 7 years. Moved here from New Jersey. My experience has been good but with discrimination. I am a gay man and a school teacher in Juneau. Here's the problem Plays this cassette.. "Hi Jeremy, you're a fag. Get a fucking life you mother fucker." This was one of my middle schools students. While this is disturbing for me, what's worse is how students are treated who think they are gay and are confused. They are in school with boys like you just heard. So much harrassment. There is no protection for these students. This state should lead the way and pass a law to protect sexual orientation. There are six lawsuits against the state right now over domestic partner benefits. There is no protection for us. I was discriminated in housing. I am discriminated in the fact that my partner and I can't be treated the same. If one of us gets hurt we have no legal recourse. Please do the right thing and stand up for us.
Director of the Boys and Girls
Club in Juneau. I heard about this hearing and wondered what
the commission is all about. I just want to let you know that
our program does foster tolerance and diversity no matter of
their race or sexual
My understanding is that this commission was formed after the paint ball incident. Hate Crimes laws that add an extra felony charge just because you did something against someone because they were a certain race. That's wrong. Laws based on a racial bias is a strong issue in this state. I saw discrimination on the North Slope for years. Day after day. I see you have no one north of the Brooks Range on your commission. That seems fitting because up north they are discriminating against anyone who is nonnative. Reverse discrimination should not be a word. There should be no discrimination. Period. There shouldn't be classes of laws against classes of people. I was told that I was being discriminated against but that they weren't going to do anything about it.
I was born and raised in Hoonah, Eagle wolf clan. I have traveled all over the US of A. I was gone for 24 years. When I moved back to Juneau in 1990 I learned that discrimination in the schools was worse than ever. My children have been discriminated against because she is part Native. Her dad is from Kentucky. So she would have to say that she was from Kentucky, instead. I felt I was treated a lot better overseas than I am in Alaska. People were so excited to meet an Alaskan. I have done a lot of volunteer work in community organizations. I wanted my daughter to know that our culture teaches respect. I'm very proud of that. Our native children and people we have a right to proud. Others don't treat us that way. How long do we have to turn our cheek against the discrimination. I hope and pray for a change.
I really just came to listen
this evening but I felt I had to say something after listening
today. I don't know how many people from PFLAG have been here
tonight but I wanted to share a story. I was at a teacher training.
Judy George, representing herself - also is President of Tlingit and Haida Indians of Juneau. (4700 members)
I do have written materials. The Tolerance Commission is a new concept. Most of us are not used to solutions. We have just experienced the discrimination. Maybe we don't have the money or the right kind of clothes or the job. So they are already down, and then just a little more fuels the fire. President of local Tlingit and Haida Council. I worked for the Central Council for 18 years. Worked for territoral and state government. Dept of Education. Lived in Angoon for 8 years, Juneau for 20 years. I'm here with my husband. He used to be on the State Human Rights Commission for many years. I hope you will be able to sift through the stories you hear here and find some commonalities. The state should be more responsible for its role in hiring. We have a responsibility to talk about these issues and get to the core of the issue. Look at subsistence. I have a feeling that we will be talking about this every year. It's almost as bad as the state capitol issue. It's expensive and time consuming to continue to debate it. I grew up in a very disfunctional family. We want to do more to make sure our kids and grandkids had a better life. I'm pleased that the Tolerance Commission was established. We should encourage peacemakers among us. Negativity hasn't gotten us anywhere. Keep encouraging what we think is right. We should consider events and actions that result and cross-cultural awareness. I hope your commission is successful. Please keep a good attitude.
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Source of Testimony Summary: Tolerance Commission - Staff Meeting Notes, July 26, 2001 - Public information.