SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Native Sisterhood Celebrates 100-Year Anniversary


September 17 2015
Thursday PM

(SitNews) Southeast Alaska - Some of the first meetings of the Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS) were documented on brown paper bags. “I recall my mother, Louise Bradley, telling me the group of ladies didn’t have enough money for paper during the formation years for ANS,” said former ANS Camp #1 President Marge Byrd. “But that didn’t stop them from getting work done.” Byrd has been a member of ANS Camp #1 since 1951 when she was 16 years old. “I’ve been carrying on the mission of ANS since I was a teenager because of my mother as well as the wonderful stories I heard while sitting next to Elders.”

jpg Alaska Native Sisterhood Celebrates 100-Year Anniversary

Left to Right: Sealaska Director Richard Rinehart presents a check to Wrangell ANS Camp #1 President Sandy Churchill for $2,500 to help with the costs of celebrating this milestone.
Photo courtesy Sealaska

The ANS is celebrating 100 years at the 2015 annual Grand Camp Convention in Wrangell, Alaska. Founding ANS member Josephine Ukas wrote about the formative years in the July 1962 edition of “The Voice of Brotherhood.” Ukas recalled that in the fall of 1914, eight ladies met at Louise Bradley’s home. They asked for help on organizing their efforts and a local judge said they needed a book of rules and a name. Their first choice was Alaska Daughters Home Leagers and North Star. After a suggestion by George Blake, the group decided on an auxiliary to the existing Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB).

“The history of the ANS and ANB represents dedication, passion, respect and much more,” said Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott. “Sealaska is happy to donate $2,500 to Wrangell ANS Camp #1 to help with the costs of celebrating this milestone. In 1987 Sealaska set aside $500,000 for the ANB/ANS endowment, which has been a steady source of revenue for this important organization that will long be associated with the success of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people.”

“We are proud of the history of Sealaska's involvement in support of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood,” said Grand Camp President Eric Morrison. “We acknowledge that many of the past and present officers of Sealaska cut their teeth in leadership by leading our local camps or at the Grand Camp level.”

“ANS and ANB will continue to support each other into the future for the betterment of our Native people,” said ANS Grand Camp President Freda Westman. “We are proud of the leadership shown us in bolstering our trust fund for future health as well as assisting us in establishing our nonprofit status to allow us to develop our own future.”

The 2015 ANB/ANS Grand Camp Convention will be held October 7-10 in Wrangell.


On the Web:

ANS/ANB Grand Camp

Origins of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, 1914


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


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Ketchikan, Alaska

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