Murkowski on Passing of Alaska Icon Katie John
“It is my sincere hope that in the loss of culture bearers like Katie we have not lost forever a piece of Alaska’s soul.”
ANCHORAGE, AK — Senator Lisa Murkowski today shared her thoughts upon hearing the news that Athabascan elder Katie John has died:
“Katie John was an Alaska icon who devoted her life to ensuring that her Ahtna people had the opportunity to carry on traditional subsistence fishing in their ancestral homeland. She was unafraid to challenge any bureaucrat standing between her Native people and their opportunity to fish, whether that was a State of Alaska that didn’t recognize that ANILCA’s rural preference included fishing or a National Park Ranger trying to tell her that she couldn’t fish from her ancestral village within the Wrangell-St Elias National Park.
“Katie John’s life was that of an authentic Alaskan. It is my sincere hope that in the loss of culture bearers like Katie we have not lost forever a piece of Alaska’s soul.”