Radical Assembly adds woke land acknowledgement to agenda as a confession of colonization and occupation - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, September 19, 2020
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Radical Assembly adds woke land acknowledgement to agenda as a confession of colonization and occupation

Prior to May of 2020, the concept of a “land acknowledgement” was unheard of in Anchorage Assembly meetings.

But suddenly, it has become a fixed agenda item of the Assembly, like the Pledge of Allegiance.

At first, it was merely added to the agenda for the May 19 meeting, but by July it was printed in full on the agenda, under the leadership of Felix Rivera, Assembly chair.

Now, it is read aloud at the beginning of every meeting as a confession of occupation:

“A land acknowledgement is a formal statement recognizing the Indigenous people of a place. It is a public gesture of appreciation for the past and present Indigenous stewardship of the lands that we now occupy. It is an actionable statement that marks our collective movement towards decolonization and equity. 

“The Anchorage Assembly would like to acknowledge that we gather today on the traditional lands of the Dena’ina Athabascans. For thousands of years the Dena’ina have been and continue to be the stewards of this land. It is with gratefulness and respect that we recognize the contributions, innovations, and contemporary perspectives of the upper Cook Inlet Dena’ina.”

The land acknowledgement is a statement of occupation that started picking up traction in Anchorage in 2019, in a workshop funded by the Anchorage Museum’s SEED lab. The SEED Lab is funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, and came with a $1 million grant from Michael Bloomberg to the Anchorage Museum through the Municipality of Anchorage. Bloomberg flew to Anchorage and announced the grant with Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.

Later, Berkowitz endorsed Bloomberg for president. Bloomberg self funded his campaign but dropped out in March of 2020 and endorsed Joe Biden.

The museum’s SEED lab focuses on innovation and the exchange of ideas, and it appears the “land acknowledgment” as part of the formal start of every Assembly meeting is one of the lab’s deliverables.

The evolution of the addition of the land acknowledgement can be seen at the tops of the agendas posted at the Assembly’s web pages and documents.

The Assembly meets for its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, August 11, at 5:30 pm at the Loussac Library. No members of the public are allowed inside the Assembly chambers, per order of the mayor, who wields emergency powers in Anchorage that has allowed him to shutter the public from meetings.

The Assembly has never had a prayer or invocation at the start of its meeting, as some assemblies do, such as the Legislature.

As Assembly members arrive to their meeting today, they’ll be greeted by protesters who believe the open meetings statutes are being violated.

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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

  • Do we need any more proof of radical treachery than blocking citizen participation in the Assembly meetings? Well, we now have the harassment of privately owned businesses just trying to make a living and threats of cutting power to those who don’t obey.🤬.
    Let’s welcome the Dept of Treasury coming to investigate Berkowitz’ proposed misuse of public funds!!!

    • Well, I’d say that attempting to control the spread of the coronavirus is not necessarily proof of radical treachery or harassment, but maybe more like just trying to keep people alive and healthy. Three of the main ways of spreading COVID-19 are closed spaces, crowds, and close contact. Makes sense to keep in-person attendance down, unless you think the virus is a hoax, in which case, you have other problems. AdditionalLy, one can always submit his (or her) opinion to the assembly by other means.

  • “The Anchorage Assembly would like to acknowledge that we gather today on the traditional lands of the Dena’ina Athabascans. For thousands of years the Dena’ina have been and continue to be the stewards of this land. It is with gratefulness and respect that we recognize the contributions, innovations, and contemporary perspectives of the upper Cook Inlet Dena’ina.” —– And who did the Dena’ina take the land from? Do they acknowledge the former occupants in their tribal meetings? If not, why not? When does the “white guilt” idiocy end?

    • White guilt ends when it is no longer a useful tool to control Americans. Republicans and conservatives go out of their way to disavow anyone they think might be racist or is accused by the left of being a white supremacist, but you’ll notice the other side lacks the same vigor when they’re equally accused. Until Americans reclaim our proud identity and heritage the left will keep winning with these petty tactics.

    • When we all realize we are brothers, and that each of us is worthy of respect.

  • The moronic pandering to every butt hurt segment of society has superseded the actual job of the assembly, which is to PROPERLY manage the affairs of the municipality on BEHALF of the people paying the bill.

  • Oh good grief. Give it back to them then. They would manage the city better than this group of commie hacks.

  • If this crap does not incentivize people to start paying attention to the city elections, nothing will.

    Please people, I am begging here…. Please make sure you vote in the municipal elections every time. Pay attention to the candidates. Call them up, and talk to them. Find out where they stand on issues important to you. The President has almost zero impact on your day to day life, a lousy assembly representative can ruin your life.

  • We’re all immigrants. Today’s natives came from Asia/Siberia via a then land bridge. They took it from who was ever here at the time in which we don’t have good records. Also, they’re typical humans… they had wars, murders, slavery, theft, killed animals, etc. Not to mention we are the ones who bought out the Russians. Imagine what their lives would have been like under Stalin, or Emperor Hirohito if Japan would have invaded and occupied.

    • Say, didn’t the group the Assembly is claiming were original inhabitants of the Anchorage area migrate down the Matanuska Valley and forcefully displace the people living here? Hmm, if memory serves the former occupants had thousands of years living in the area. I thought the idea was to acknowledge colonization and conquest? Maybe they should go back and get “re-woke”? At least learn a little history.

    • Well said, thank you.

  • Great, a woke assembly, right here in Anchorage. Next thing your know they’ll be wearing Kente cloth and bloviating on how we are all racists, how embarrassing. When the time comes, we need to vote these idiots out of office.

  • As an Indigenous person I call this “land acknowledgement” ritual B.S. “Stewardship”? This is condescending and laughable if it were not for the fact that we have these Lefties on the Assembly. You can’t make this stuff up, as they say. There appears to be an arrogant child-like utopian mindset running the city. We are in the midst of a bad movie and its getting pathetic. This leftist Mayor and the leftist Assembly folks are bad medicine and Indigenous people don’t need your acknowledgement or your self serving rituals. Did I say pathetic. You folks probably lay awake at night because you can’t find another historical monument to defame. And while I am venting, the Indigenous of American were never offended by the team name “Redskin”. This was invented by someone other then an American Indian. This is just another lie we have had to endure by the Left… you know, the party of lie, cheat, steal, anarchy and crime… you know, the Party of anti-America trying to convert us to Communism… you know, the anti-liberty, anti-freedom party. Make sure you vote because it is vital for those who love this country and know its greatness.

  • Do I pay my taxes this year with shiny stones and brightly colored beads?
    Thanks for this land that always was.

    • What kind of deal do you think they would have received from the Russians?

  • Citizens need to “insist” on being in the Assembly meeting. These people are nutso.

  • Why does the assembly even recite the Pledge of Allegiance? With one exception, they hate America first and blame America first and have absolutely no intention of upholding any oath of office.

  • So they would prefer to be under the thumb for the last 100 plus years? Or the Brits or Spanish? They don’t know history/ Sad!

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