Berkowitz gives Captain Cook statue to Village of Eklutna to decide fate - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, August 4, 2020
HomeTop NewsBerkowitz gives Captain Cook statue to Village of Eklutna to decide fate

Berkowitz gives Captain Cook statue to Village of Eklutna to decide fate

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has turned the fate of the Captain Cook statue over to the Village of Eklutna, he said on the Tom Anderson Show on KVNT on Thursday morning.

Anderson asked the mayor what he had intended to with with the bronze statue that stands at Resolution Park along the Anchorage waterfront downtown.

An online petition to have the statue taken down is active at Change.org.

[Read: Mayor Pierce offers to take Cook statue off Berkowitz’ hands]

Berkowitz said he’s turning the statue’s fate over to the Village of Eklutna, which he says Anchorage has government-to-government relations with. Because they are a sovereign government, he has given them control over the statue’s future.

“Because the desire to take it down is borne of some of the historic concerns about injustice in the way the colonialists treated the Native people, we have given the process of what to do with the statue to the Native village of Eklutna. We have a government-to-government relationship. It is a sovereign-to-sovereign relationship,” Berkowitz said.

He explained that Eklutna Chief Aaron Leggett will set up a process in consultation with other tribes in the region to decide the fate of the statue — it could come down or it could be “contextualized.”

The village of Eklutna is within the Municipality of Anchorage, but lies 24 miles northeast of Anchorage near Mile 142 of the Alaska Railroad and Mile 26 of the Glenn Highway. About 70 people live in Eklutna; they are either all or part Native.

Berkowitz said that Captain Cook was only in the Inlet for a couple of weeks, and the people who had lived there for centuries have the right to determine what happens to the statue.

Give a listen to that segment of the Tom Anderson Show:

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • When did the mayor get the right to give away public property?

    • Let’s give away the Mayor’s Office!
      First 27 Homeless people that show up can live in the mayor’s office!
      And the Assembly and School Board Can Take Care of them

      • Great idea! But don’t limit it to 27. Let them all move in!

  • Unbelievable. Such a putz

  • I thought the 1972 Native Claims Settlement Act helped clean the slate? Word to the Eklutna Elders…. let the statue stay as it is. Removing it will only cause animosity. Are we now to revert ALL Alaskan names to prior native versions? None in Russian , None in English, None in any other language. If so, please renounce all those Western Civ goodies and return to bone and stone culture for purity’s sake.

  • I would speculate the Anchorage Muni is not “Sovereign “. It falls under the laws of the US and state.

  • Typical liberal. Let someone else do the dirty work. Now he can wash his hands with dirty water, and claim whatever happens wasn’t his doing.

    • Right!? For two years this guy had the majority of the assembly on his side and still couldn’t get anything done. What a loser. And now that he’s lost his majority, and still can’t get anything done, he blames Republicans. What a loser. Oh wait, I’m thinking of Trump. And it wasn’t Republicans, it’s Democrats that he blames. Got libtard disoriented for minute. Must be the drugs and all the college.

  • Unbelievable. What a putz

  • Is it his to give away? I’m really curious because I don’t know. Seems like whoever paid to put it up should have a say in it.

    • Agreed, and more importantly to me is whether or not he has any right to declare them a sovereign government and have peer to peer dealings with them. Is this part of his support of a casino out there? Or is he simply pandering for votes for the next position he runs for? This guy is so underhanded I have to question the ulterior motivation in everything that he does. He is going to create one hell of a mess on his way out of office.

      • Follow the money

    • Berkowitz’s idea is brilliant. Mob rules win, keeps the peace. No burning, looting, murder.

      • Google “riot Anchorage”. Tell us about all the riots of our past.

        Good luck.

    • If I recall correctly, a oil company paid for it, at least partially.

    • Yes, it is the city’s property. It was a gift from BP. (And BP is no longer in Alaska, btw).

  • Does everyone see how these Democrat mayors respond? Instead of staying out of it and making a difference, little Tyrant Berkowitz follows the leader. It is not his to decide the fate of statues in Anchorage. The voters should vote on it if they want to be fair and not look like they are bowing to the Terrorists Black Lives Matter… Until this madness is pushed back, and people get involved this will continue and our history will be scrubbed all because a bunch of illiterate babies don’t understand it. They want history erased so in their pathetic brains it will be as if it didn’t happen. They are dangerous, delusional and need to be stopped.

  • The New Little King of Anchorage has spoken

  • That makes two of us, RC. What is the value of this statue? Is it municipal property? And does the Mayor have the authority to give it away without Assembly approval?

    • Yes, the Mayor has the authority. That’s already been established.

      • By Who?

  • Turning the decision over to Eklutna makes sense to me. I don’t have any particular fondness for Captain Cook’s visitation to Alaska. He hardly spent any time here, before, like many Alaskans, he headed for the balmier shores of the Sandwich Islands.
    What, pray tell, lies in store for the name “Cook Inlet?”

    • Probably the same thing that happened to Barrow; it will be renamed to something you can’t pronounce. Maybe the Russians or somebody else with some testicles (Chinese?) will come back and put up some funny new statues.

    • Cook’s Hawaiian vacation didn’t turn out well. Being invited to dinner and all. Cook Inlet and Turnagain will be the mayor’s next level of culture cleansing. Orwell was an optimist.

    • Let’s take away the mayor’s house -and give it to the Eklutnas

  • The Statue does not belong to Ethan and it does not belong to the Village of Eklutna, it was a goodwill gift to the City of Anchorage from her Sister City. Either take Kenai up on the offer for relocation or have the courtesy to return the Captain to Whitby.

    • I agree…by the mayor deciding where to give a gift given to the people of the City of Anchorage….No it was not his to give!

    • Really, the mayor has the power to give away public property? Why not the whole park? Then Eklutna can pay the City to have it taken care of !!!!

  • I don’t recall ever voting for anyone at Eklutna village to represent me in Anchorage nor did I delegate any authority to them to act on my behalf. Berkowitz has set a new despicable low in political cowardice.

    The statute of Captain Cook should stay exactly where it is to celebrate the remarkable achievement of Cook and his crew during their brief visit here in 1778. They were able to navigate the globe and keep track of their exact position throughout the journey by virtue of their ability to do mathematics and observations of celestial bodies, and to keep precise time. His vessel was the 18th century equivalent of the Apollo command module and it was sailed with great skill and courage that we all can and should still admire.

    • Then why don’t you camp by it and defend it?

      • No room to set up any more tents there. Too many bums.

      • Gosh, Greg, you seem to be a little butt-hurt and uppity over this statue matter.

        Would you care to divulge exactly how much you imagine you’re owed for having to suffer through life in modernity and who exactly you think should be on the hook to pay you off to go sulk in a mud hut and cry in your beer?

        Serious questions there, sonny.

      • There’s a saying about where the sun don’t shine. Might I suggest what Berkie could do with Captain Cook? When we remove it we can put it back in its rightful place.

      • If it comes to defending Greg, all we have to do is invite the patriots to step forward. It will be well defended. Also do bear in mind that the original colonies are British colonies. And even though we have quarreled with them from time to time as with Canada , they have been our strongest partners in the defense of democracy in the twentieth century. That’s not surprising because we share a common DNA,

        In short , their heroes are our heroes and their exemplary Captain Cook deserves our highest esteem, just as much as Americans like FDR AND DWIGHT Eisenhower deserve their esteem. The statue is perfectly fitting and deserves to remain where it is.

        • Nobody has any balls up there. All complainers. No doers.

        • Patriots will defend the statue? WTF are you talking about? Are you suggesting that some idiots with guns will try to overrule a decision from a legally elected official? That’s about the most unAmerican thing I’ve seen on this rag page, and I’ve seen a lot of very unAmerican crap here. You have a problem? Then call your rep, call the governor, vote, run for office, write letters, file a suit, move away (I’m hoping you move away). But you take up arms against elected officials then you’re as weak and stupid as the make believe ANTIFA boogie man our president rails against. And you’re likely gonna get a good schooling on what happens when you mess with American democracy. But that’s how fascists learn best.

          • B, you are the typical, anonymous, ignorant, idealistic coward hiding in the dark – trolling.

  • I am so pleased that Spendowitz can give away our history. After all, why should the citizens of Anchorage have a say in what parts of history we preserve. I think maybe we should give away his house because it is on land that at some point in history it belonged to someone else. His obviously has no real ownership of it.

    • Well said. Who conceded ownership of the land his house sits on?

      It was TAKEN from someone by force, at some point far in the past. It must be returned.

  • it is unsettling to see and hear the Mayor talking about Government to Government and Sovereign to Sovereign as if he were a king dealing with the chief..!! take a deep leave Captain alone..

    • The court had decided that natives on tribal land are sovereign.

      • The only Natives on “tribal land” as that term has legal meaning are those on the Metlakatka Reservation. Tribal status and the notion of sovereign powers are a legal fiction that leftists/Democrats and Native sovereignty advocates tout, and they are given some support by the BIA which is still butt-hurt over losing power over its Alaska colony. The USSC ruled on this in the Venetie case in the Nineties. There is something of a push underway to try to establish old IRA Native Allotments as tribal lands to establish a land base on which to assert sovereign power as “dependent sovereign” has legal meaning, but that question isn’t yet settled.

        • Metlakatla is actually a ‘reserve’. I heard it is rented from the Federal Government for $1 every 100 years. Natives have exclusive ‘use’ of the land, not ownership.

        • All tribal land and reservations are federal trust land. The feds retain title. Some confuse allotments with ownership.

  • The statue doesn’t belong to him to just give away.!!

    • Actually it does. It’s in municipal code.

      • You seem to have all the answers. Where in the municipal code?

  • It isn’t right for one, likely temporary individual, to “give away” any public property or monument, because he doesn’t like it. He hasn’t been alive long enough to own or give away this salute to a great world explorer. Maybe it’s jealousy from the little guy. One shouldn’t be great just because they mapped huge portions of the known and unknown world and discovered lands hidden from discovery by remoteness until he came along. Little ethan ‘deserves’ and wants a statue of himself for posterity, because he is what he is. Is that not apparent? He has nothing for a legacy except a failed attempt at significant accomplishment. Whatever he does to, not for, Anchorage, will be his ‘legacy’. For actions like his with his “power”, does he even deserve mention in Alaskan history, except as a footnote to attempted ‘tyranny” or ‘what not to do’, as a representative of the people?

  • So does this mean that the 2% rule, where government funded civic projects must include 2% for art, is over? It had better be, because we can’t afford to install art just so idiots like Berkowitz can deinstall them.

  • Unbelievable. What else does Berky want to “give away”? Use your imagination. Does he think that as Mayor he has the power to “give” municipal property away?

  • Why don’t you do something instead of complaining all the time? Little whiner.

    • Because he’s(Ed) still in Hawaii where he likes to do his whining from.

  • Berkowitz, you’re just proving Trump right when he said the call to remove statues of historical figures wouldn’t stop with Confederate generals.

    I never thought I’d see mob rule come to America. But here we are.

  • babylonbee.com/news/cities-successfully-preserving-existing-statues-by-re-naming-them-all-karl-marx

    [Live link removed by moderator.]

  • Snowflakes…it’s just a statue. If it’s removed, nothing major is going to change in your life.

    • Exactly. Melt it down. Anchorage is nothing to be proud of. The crime rate, homeless people, crooked politics. I bet cook would say year it down, I don’t want my name on a crap hole of a hog wallow.

  • My kids and a couple of the Hickel kids were playing in the woods out at point Woronzof almost 50 years ago and they came home with three cannon balls…two of which were on display in the Crows Nest at the Captain Cook Hotel for years before disappearing and I still have ours as a door stop in my office…I sure hope Berkowitz does not decide to come for it…

  • Cowardly BS. Talk about hopping on bandwagons. How many people signed this so-called petition? How many were born and raised here? How many work and pay taxes?

    I’m disgusted by things that are happening and am offended by it. Does anyone give a rat’s behind about my opinion? Hell no!! Good God. Will the stupidity and craziness ever end?

    Actually, I’m going to start a petition to get rid of something. I’ll let you know so we can have a say in having something removed or pulled down.

    I’m on the search for a statue. Maybe the gorilla ones in the park off I think C. Or Maybe something on the Parkstrip.

    I’m just floored by it all. And ashamed of all who can’t seem to see the wrongness of erasing history rather than trying to make things better.

  • This mayor needs another term.

  • Not one of you supported my position on “The Bus” and now you’re going to whine about a statue?! The Bus was an actual piece of Alaska history. A cool old 1940’s bus that trundled along the streets of Fairbanks when it was still a real frontier town. Put out to pasture on the historic Stampede Trail. Eventually becoming the site where a guy who idolized Alaska passed away. It then became a shrine, a place to make a pilgrimage to for thousands of young people.

    The Bus just screamed historical monument…and you guys cheered when it was ripped out of it’s resting place. Now you’re going to cry over a representation of history! Remind me, what is Cook famous for? I’m a little fuzzy on that. He wore out his welcome with the Hawaiians and then he was the first sandwich? Maybe he was the first ‘Captains Plate”? Glad they stopped using real captains for that dish! Sorry, I’m not sorry about your statue!

    • I’d be all for putting the bus somewhere along the Park Strip or in South Addition as our monument to stupid leftists.

      • Why thank you Art, but it’s not for me! 🙂 In my experience, there are a lot more liberals among 20 year olds than there are among 30 somethings. More liberals among 30s than 40 year olds. And, I personally, have never known any 90 year old liberals. This observation seems to bear out your comment; “stupid leftists” since we were all dumb when we were young. As we have aged we have hopefully become smarter and wiser, until we have become the Einsteins we all are today. We also become conservatives. There are other paths to conservatism, mainly religion. So, what faster way to conversion is there than being swept down an icy cold Alaskan river??? “My God I’m going to die” or “Jesus save me”! The ones that die, die as one of US. The ones that survive, survive as one of US. You can’t spend a couple weeks in the Alaska Bush and not be changed, not be closer to God. The Bus was a conversion machine that probably had a better success rate than the Jehovah’s Witnesses”! Besides Art, these are special leftists (stop laughing!). Really, instead of playing video games in mama’s basement, they actually came all the way here. These were the ones looking for answers, these were future Conservatives. So in the spirit of reciprocity, I’d support keeping those parts of the Cook statue that represent the inedible and unpalatable parts of the “um, um good” Captain!

  • Berkowitz makes Jimmy Carter look like Winston Churchill

  • As per the codes of the city, Ethan has committed theft by misapplication of property, and the Village of Eklutna has committed theft by receiving. Had enough yet, citizens?

    library.municode.com/ak/anchorage/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT8PECO_CH8.15THOF_8.15.080MIPR&showChanges=true

    8.15.080 – Misapplication of property.
    A. A person commits the crime of misapplication of property if the person knowingly misapplies property that has been entrusted to that person as a fiduciary or that is property of the government or a financial institution.

    [Live link removed by moderator.]

    • I am in. We need to find an attorney that believes taxation should be a representative activity instead of theft. Removing the fountain on Minnesota and Spenard was the start, where does it end? All the money spent on this stuff and then torn down, it is beyond theft.

  • The statue of Captain James Cook is a public statue that represents the history of Anchorage. Under no circumstances should the statue be moved or subject to a transfer of ownership. True Alaskans don’t erase history, we use these symbols to remind us who we are. The mayor lacks the authority to determine what is to be with the statue other than it should remain intact. I will respect and protect all public property.

  • You have to give the Mayor credit for ducking the substance of a controversial issue. He has passed the buck to the native tribal chief so that if they decide to remove it all the heat falls on the natives and not him. It is a fine example of cowardice in leadership but his liberal friends will love him for it.

  • Do you want snow removal or cops? Extra cops haven’t changed a thing. Passing the buck to Eklutna is the most illegitimate decision this Marxist has presented yet, aside from his unconstitutional mask idea, can’t wait to bring a class action law suit against the muni for that.

  • This makes the Eagle Exit folks very happy.

  • Voters and residents of Anchorage, please report the Mayor’s theft to the Muni legal department and to APD.
    muni.org/Departments/legal/criminal/Pages/default.aspx
    muni.org/Departments/police/forms/Pages/OnlineReportingSystem.aspx

    [Live links removed by moderator.]

  • Truthfully there are no Alaska Natives. There are only earlier immigrants.

    • In Canada, we are called first people. Both terms are correct.

      • Leave the ‘’we” out, most Canadians are not in the pit with you., they are good folks.

        • Not true. Canadian natives first people know we are of the same heritage.

    • Do not confuse people by asking them to think.

  • I honestly wonder if our “Mayor” gets up each morning, stands in front of a full length mirror holding a He-Man action figure aloft, and announces to himself “I Have The Power!” Sigh….

  • Gutless.

  • When is this guys term up because… I’m sorry but this is not rational thinking. The Captain Cook story added to the unique personality of this town and state. I am an Alaska Native and I call BS. Another left wing fool. Lets get another Republican in the Anchorage Mayor seat before we turn into Seattle.

    • Totally agree !!

  • Leave the statue alone…..

    Mr. Mayor you do not own the city or the statue. Who are you to give the statue away to anyone ?

  • The Tlingit would just paint the nose red.

  • Who are the people of this Village and where from did they come? Perhaps the Mayor should do some research before he grants decision making authority to a village of squatters. My reading of history of South Central Alaska suggests that a group of people from Kodiak were settled in and around Anchorage prior to the arrival of a group of people who can only be described as Colonial Imperialist. These people whose descendants now live in the Village came down through the Matanuska Valley from the upper regions of the Copper River and began a systematic process of removing the original inhabitants through force of arms. The Mayor might want to re-think his position here. Also… what harm did Cook bring to Alaska? England never sought to exploit Alaska.

    • Older than Alaska you are partially correct the Dena’ina came in to Cook Inlet from the interior 1500 to 1000 years ago and replaced a group whose descendants inhabit Kodiak and prince William sound, the prevailing theory is that these people were not able to adapt to a change in the climate of Cook Inlet and preferred a more maritime climate. Overtime they established their villages and eventually found a way to trade with and occasionally defend their homeland with their neighbors. The point being this occurred around the time that The Roman Empire left Captain Cook’s nation and the Anglo, frisians , jutes and Saxon’s started to form what would become Britain . Therefore the history of many nations states we recognize today have had previous colonizers but you wouldn’t say the British don’t have a right to their country because the Romans colonized it before them.

  • If we really want to do something about this, besides flap our jaws, we need to fund an attorney to bring an injunction against the mayor and take him to court. If we are not willing to do that we are just shouting into a hurricane.

    • I am in. We need to find an attorney that believes taxation should be a representative activity instead of theft.

  • This is the mayor who stole a donated, $50,000, memorial, fountain and hid it rather than chase away the homeless who were using it as a lavatory……

    Gutless, mini-man who passes the buck to Eklutna, rather than standing on his own hind legs……

  • So some twit starts a change.org petition because of “white patriarchal blah blah blah” and gets 1,300 signatures from people that don’t live here. And our Napoleonic mayor bends the knee to their demands.

    If I start a change.org petition to KEEP the statue, how long would it take to gather 1,301 signatures?
    Then it stays, right?

    Or is there something else going on behind the scenes that Berkowitz is obeying? And why do non-citizens get to decide what happens in my city?

  • All I can say is, “Anchorage, you voted him in, you get what what you ask for”!!!

  • Anchorage taxpayers paid for the statue and it’s maintenance for years. It belongs to Anchorage taxpayers, not this little tyrant mayor. It isn’t his to give away. It is time the taxpayers take back our rights in this town. We are getting screwed out of our money in the form of exorbitant property taxes and the benefits of that largess is being bestowed on non participating members of society. The village of Eklutna has no say on anything bought and paid for by Anchorage taxpayers.

    • Exactly. Come on Anchorage, step to the plate. Class action suit, or arrest the thief. Being mayor does not make him exempt from the law.

    • The statue was bought and paid for by British Petroleum, as for Anchorage tax dollars very little money went toward it as evidenced by the fact that his sexton was stolen shortly after it was put up and took almost 40 years and quite a few previous mayors ( George Sullivan, Tony Knowles, Tom Fink, Rick Mystrom, George Wuerch, Mark Begich, and Dan Sullivan) to get it replaced.

  • Aunt Jemima, at 62, I certainly am not your Sonny. I can’t begin to put a price on the loss of culture and land.

    Not sure what you mean by butt hurt. Was that your cutsie way of some derogatory homosexual prison thing that failed? Grow a pair if you can before trying for a starting position in the bigs.

    Perhaps your snowflake stutus is wearing thin and you need some propping up. Either way, come back when you have thicker skin.

  • It’s all the modern equivalence of Mao and his cultural revolution or Adolph calling out people as cultural Bolsheviks when he didn’t like them. Fine job ‘Mercia. May we hold off on the book burning mobs until fall, when it’s a little cooler?

  • Berkowitz, what a weak-kneed Communist. He has no authority to give that statue away.

  • Seems the citizens of Anchorage should get together and sue the mayor, or arrest & charge him, for theft of public property.

  • Wimpy American Berkowitz and other liberals like him want to destroy our heritage and history. Their hatred and dislike of white people is amazing. Can we blue ticket them back to America?

  • a.) Wake up Anchorage!
    b.) I doubt seriously this mayor has the legal authority to give the decision to any private or political entity to decide the disposition of taxpayer owned public property.
    c.) And if ya don’t think this mayor has politcal aspirations for Alaska governor, think again – this is pure, raw, political pandering to the Alaska native community.. Despicable, disrespectful, grandstanding!
    d.) I’m certainly on board any lawsuit against this mayor to prevent his political ambitious using municipal, taxpayer funded resources.

  • Agreed !!

  • Oh, the Mayor gave it a way in June 2020 and to cover his a$$, the city assembly members passed a very vague ordinance on July 14, 2020. The ordinance, “coincidentally” identifies the Captain Cook statue as one that can be removed for several reason, but nothing mentions the giving it way.

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