AHS & CIHS Present: The Alaska Historical Society Lecture And Discussion Series - Americanization Of Alaska

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AHS & CIHS Present: The Alaska Historical Society Lecture And Discussion Series - Americanization Of Alaska

By Anchorage Museum

Join the Alaska Historical Society and Cook Inlet Historical Society for the second of a four-part lecture and panel series about major public policy issues facing Alaska to combat the often willful distortion of history and create a more productive environment in which to arrive at sound public policy.

Beginning with the 1867 transfer of Alaska from Russian to American control, the federal government extended its administration over the territory. Was this “Americanization” positive with new government services or an unwelcome colonization? Americanization had both enormously positive and negative impacts which continue today. The unsettled relationship between the federal government, the state and Native groups deserves closer discussion as Alaskans consider ideas such as resource management and policies relating to Alaska Natives under the federal trust.

Four panelists, Ross Coen, Mary Ehrlander, Ian Hartman, and Charles Wohlforth, will weigh in before taking questions from a live and online audience.
Free and open to the public. Those attending in person should use the museum’s 7th Avenue entrance.

About the Panelists
Ross Coen is a lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Washington. He is also editor of Alaska History (AHS Journal), the semi-annual journal of the Alaska Historical Society.

Mary Ehrlander is an emeritus professor of history at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and former director of the Arctic and Northern Studies Program at UAF. She is the author of numerous books and publications, including Walter Harper, Alaska’s Native Sun, and Equal Educational Opportunity: Brown’s Elusive Mandate.

Ian Hartman is a professor and chair of the history department at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He teaches modern American history with an emphasis on issues related to economic and racial inequality.

Charles Wohlforth was an Anchorage Daily News reporter from 1988 to 1992 and wrote a regular opinion column from 2015 until 2019. He served two terms on the Anchorage Assembly. He is the author of a dozen books about Alaska, science, history and the environment.

About the Organizers:
The AHS is Alaska’s largest statewide organization dedicated to the informed exchange of ideas through a factual appreciation of Alaska’s history. It is partnering with the Cook Inlet Historical Society and the Anchorage Museum on the series. The Atwood Foundation has provided a generous grant to cover costs. Other supporting organizations include the League of Women Voters, and OLE!, an Anchorage-based nonprofit which offers educational classes.

About the Series:
To help raise the level of civil discourse across Alaska, the Alaska Historical Society (AHS) launched this four-part lecture and panel discussion series. “Today in Alaska, as in much of the rest of the country, our civic discourse has deteriorated to a point where sensible public policy is not only enormously challenging, but often unachievable,” said William Schneider, University of Alaska Fairbanks professor emeritus and recent past president of the Alaska Historical Society. “By demonstrating how knowledge of history can inform and improve current public policy debate, we hope to raise the level of discussion so an informed public can encourage decision-makers to draw on history to make fact-based policy which serves the broadest diversity of Alaskans,” Schneider said.
Subsequent sessions will address: Conservation and Development; and Weather Events and Climate Change.

Image: Sitka from the governor’s garden; St. Michael’s Cathedral on left, 1868-1869. Eadweard James Muybridge Photograph Collection, Alaska State Library, ASL-P15-07.

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