Sealaska Heritage

NEWS_SHI to sponsor lecture on civil rights icon Elizabeth Peratrovich

<<back to news page


Free event to be offered virtually, in-person on Nov. 19

Nov. 16, 2021

(About the Lecturer) (Flyer

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a lecture on Friday on the civil rights icon Elizabeth Peratrovich as part of a series on Southeast Alaska Native history in honor of Native American Heritage Month.

The talk, Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich, will be given by Ann Boochever, who grew up in Juneau when Alaska was still a territory, and racism, although subtler than before passage of the anti-discrimination bill, was still pervasive.

In her talk, Boochever will offer personal insights into life in Juneau during the 1950s and discuss how she came to write Fighter in Velvet Gloves with the help of Elizabeth’s only living child, now 87-year-old Roy Peratrovich, Jr.

Historical slides from the Alaska State Archives and the Peratrovich family will accompany the presentation and provide a rare glimpse into the personal life of Elizabeth and how she grew to lead Alaska and all of America in the battle for civil rights.

The lecture is scheduled at noon Alaska time, Friday, Nov. 19. All lectures will be streamed at 12 pm to the Sealaska Heritage YouTube channel. This talk will also be presented in person in SHI’s clan house to attendees who show proof of vaccination cards. Space is limited to half capacity of SHI’s clan house because of COVID-19 concerns. A Q&A session will follow.  

About the Lecturer

Following a career teaching music and library skills, Ann Boochever earned an MFA in creative writing for children and young adults. Boochever’s books, Bristol Bay Summer (Alaska Northwest Books, 2014) and Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich (University of Alaska Press, 2019) have won numerous awards and were selected as Notable Social Studies Trade Books and Alaska State Battle of the Books. Fighter in Velvet Gloves was included in the 2019 American Indians in Children’s Literature list of best non-fiction books for young adults and selected to represent Alaska in the 2019 National Library of Congress Parade of States.

This program is provided under the Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska Schools (PITAAS) program and funded by the Alaska Native Education Program.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

CONTACT: Kathy Dye, SHI Communications and Publications Deputy Director, 907.321.4636,