GRAB AND GO - Library patron Tina Johnson, left, and Joanna Perensovich, information services librarian, wear masks in the Sitka Library this afternoon. The library no longer has couches for patrons, but does have computer desks widely spaced apart for people to access for one-hour periods. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Tribe to Help Decide Fate of Statue of Capt. Cook

ANCHORAGE (AP) — The mayor of Anchorage has asked the Native Village of Eklutna to determine what happens to a statue of a British explorer following calls for its removal as monuments to historical figures are being dismantled across the country.

The statue is of Captain James Cook, who came to Alaska in 1778 in what is now known as Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet while searching for the Northwest Passage as an explorer for the British government.

Cook and his crew were the first Europeans to set foot in the region and were credited with discovering land that was already inhabited by Indigenous people. 

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and Native Village of Eklutna President Aaron Leggett wrote a joint letter saying that “the statue is but one symbol among many that fail to fully and fairly recognize Anchorage’s First People.”

The letter was written in response to the Anchorage Sister Cities Commission, which suggested modifying the monument to reflect the history of Alaska Natives.

“Consequently, as part of the government-to-government relationship between the Municipality of Anchorage and the Native Village of Eklutna, we seek to establish a process that respects the crucial role and sovereign authority of local tribes as we more fully and fairly portray Alaska’s past,” the letter said.

In this Wednesday photo, a statue of Captain James Cook stands on a plinth in Resolution Park overlooking the Cook Inlet near 3rd Avenue in Anchorage. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

Leggett said this is the most significant recognition from an Anchorage official of the village being a sovereign government. The Native Village of Eklutna is the only tribal government within the boundaries of the Municipality of Anchorage. It became federally recognized in 1982.

A decision has not yet been made on what will happen to the statue, but Leggett said he would like to see modifications at the statue site that represent the history and voice of the Dena’ina people.

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-10-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of noon Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 51

Total statewide – 1,323

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 5 (2 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 13 (11 resident; 2 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 80.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 

 

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Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020

NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHERS

TO READERS AND ADVERTISERS

For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website sitkasentinel.com. Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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