Sitka Assembly will move Baranov statue - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, September 15, 2021
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Sitka Assembly will move Baranov statue

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The Sitka Assembly on Tuesday voted 6-1 to move the bronze statue of Alexander Baranov from the front of Harrigan Centennial Hall into the Sitka Historical Museum.

Dueling petitions had been active online — with more than 2,000 saying they want the statue removed, and another 5,000 signing a petition to keep the statute where it is. Many of those wishing it to remain were from Russian heritage all around the world.

The statue was donated to the city in 1989 by the Hames family, the owners of one of Sitka’s oldest family-owned businesses, Sea Mart.

But in the current political environment, white immigrants have been deemed unacceptable to some who want history scrubbed. Baranov was part of the colonization of Alaska by Europeans, and Native Alaskans don’t necessarily appreciate a statue of him and have recently protested the statue.

Baranov was a Russian merchant who worked for some time in Siberia before being recruited by the Shelikov Company for Russian America, beginning in 1790 with a five-year contract as manager of what was then a fur-trading outpost. He stayed long past his initial contract.

This made him the de facto first governor of Russian America, and he established a post in Kodiak as well as Sitka (New Archangel). Although he had a wife and children in Russia, he took up with an Aleut woman and fathered three children with her. When he learned of his wife’s death in Russia, he married his Aleut companion. He later died at sea in April of 1819.

The resolution was offered by Assembly members Kevin Knox and Steven Eisenbeisz.

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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

  • The only pandemic we are witnessing is insanity.

  • This is not surprising coming out of Sick a . I guess the petition numbers only matter when they are in your favor.

  • So the minority really rules! This has got to stop. We need to file a lawsuit.

  • So if the statue gets removed, Baranov and his actions he never happened?
    …will the cancel culture advocates for the removal of this statue/art work be reimbursing the Hame Family in 2020 dollars, plus interest, with their own funds, for their gift to the community of Sitka?

    • Baranov

    • It’s being moved to the Sitka Historical Museum bruh…

  • The Sitka natives and all other ‘indigenous’ natives in America should be grateful to, and memorialize, those ‘white colonists’ that brought them out of the stone age. If not for Spaniards first, Russians next in Alaska and America, with British and French here and there, and with America the latest and greatest “colonizer” of America, the confused ‘natives’ of Alaska and the rest of America would still be paddling their canoes without engines, living in stick, mud, straw and skin houses, owning slaves and killing the rest of ‘non cooperative’ natives. Instead, they have been elevated to elite status by ‘guilty’ white ‘colonists’, who are willing to degrade their own to appease the ‘natives’, the cruelest, most unforgiving slave owners, and deadliest (to other than their tribes) people on the planet. Now, they are the ‘chosen ones’, declared victims of racism, ‘white privilege’ and the list goes on. Supporters of the destroyers of history should read some history. Get the real story. Not from leftists, who lie like a rug, but from actual historical documents and history, written by those who were there. Maybe too much to ask of the “enlightened” (woke) socialist leftists.

    • As a conservative republican native American, I would have liked to have lived in the old days. No Obama, no Bryce Edgmon, no Hillary, no pearl harbor. It would have had to be a time before the white eyes set foot on our land, and gave us slaughter and small pox. Yes, the whites have done so much for us Indians. Lol

      • Hey Greg,
        I’ll bet you are on a pension furnished by ‘white eyes’. I’ll bet you have health care paid for by ‘white eyes’. No shame in that. This isn’t the old west. Names and name calling say a lot about one. Why trash talk the hand that feeds you? Shame ‘du jour’? America is all of us, not a select few or any specific race or ethnicity. The ‘Indians’ have as much right as and more opportunity than ‘white eyes’, especially in Alaska. Everything furnished by those unloved ‘whites’. If I felt that strongly, I would refuse any ‘white eye’ money, care, land or opportunities that are afforded Indians and not whites, courtesy of tax paying ‘whites’. Would that be ok with you?

        • You would lose that bet. I am retired drawing social security, and am not on my tribal health care system. In fact, Bristol Bay native health once tried the charge me $500 for a flu shot.

    • Indigenous people should be ‘grateful’ for losing 90% of their population from disease and destruction, having their land, languages, and cultures stolen from them, and living in a country that is outwardly racist towards them like you?

  • Baranov also enslaved the Unangax and led an assault on the Tlingit on their own land…

      • Oh got it thanks

    • MA,
      The Tlingit were and are the physically biggest and most warlike of all Alaska Natives. The Tlingits and Athabascans (a little further north) were always at war. Together, between the Tlingits, Athabascan and other sub-tribes (Haidas, for instance) of Alaskan Indians, the more peaceful ethnic Aleuts were driven out of the most hospitable lands in southern, southeastern and southcentral Alaska and into the obscure, far west wasteland of the “Aleut”ian” Islands. Those remote, storm ridden, unhospitable islands were of no use to any but “refugees” from the warlike Tlingits and Athabascans, like the Aleuts, escaping from tyranny into the ‘wasteland’ of the Aleutian Islands that no other ethnicity valued. If Baranov ‘led’ an assault on Tlingits, in or near Sitka, one faction or other of Tlingits were with him against their brothers and sisters disagreeing with them. That is the case in all of history. Traitors help to bring down kingdoms and empires with jealousy, bribery and treachery against their brothers and sisters.

      • Your history must tell you that Aleuts were not just in the islands where they thrived BTW, but are also on the Alaskan penninsula, a beautiful place with fish, game, berries and black sand beaches.

        • Hey again Greg,
          Ever been to the Alaska peninsula? Aleutians? The Alaska peninsula is the gateway to the Aleutians. If you like trees and forests though, forget it. No trees west of south Kodiak Island. None. Just brush. There are a few scraggly spruce in Dutch Harbor. They call it the ‘Dutch Harbor’ national forest (ten or so stunted trees). Planted during WWII by sailors on the Dutch Harbor side of Unalaska (Umnak Is.), in a lee side sheltered swale. It takes a formidable personality to make the Aleutians or Alaska Peninsula home. Did you know that rats escaping from early ships infested several Aleutian islands and wiped out most all indigenous fauna and fowl. Fox farming did the same on several. Foxes escaped and took over wildlife habitat, including birds’ aeries. Mink and sable farming there also. Lots of negative, no matter where one looks, if you look hard enough. Positive is there if a person is interested. Aleuts have houses, cars, motorboats, four wheelers, mail, air service, and all the accessories of most Americans everywhere, and then some, courtesy of ‘white eyes’.

          • Yes. I worked down there for 4 years. Great place and better people. I miss them dearly.

      • Okay their is so much historical inaccuracy in all of this I don’t even know where to start. The Aleutian islands are not a wasteland. There is no evidence that Unangax were pushed out of southcentral Alaska by Tlingit. (You might be confusing them with Sugpiaq (Alutiiq) who were pushed further south by the Dena’ina). Haida is not a “subtribe”, whatever that is supposed to mean. The Unangax were ENSLAVED by the Russians to fight against the Tlingit to take their land. There is no evidence that Tlingit fought with the Russians against other Tlingit during the Battle of Sitka.

  • Why do you keep deleting my comments about true historical facts?

    • “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”….Jesus Christ

  • Idiocracy

  • They’re going to change name on the maps next

  • Sounds like Boris Badenov and Natasha have invaded Sitka.

  • In fact I take nothing from the white system that isn’t allowed to everyone. I may be a one of a kind, but it goes back to when my tribe walked the trail or tears instead of becoming complacent and assimilated in Mississippi.

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