Dedication of Orthodox Catholic Church at Cordova, October 14, 1925 Spotlight on Alaska's Eyak People

The smallest in number among Alaska's Native groups, the Eyak people are geographically squeezed between their Tlingit and Athabascan neighbors in the southeastern corner of Southcentral Alaska.

However they've managed to retain their unique culture, language and identity. Read on...

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Vic Fischer Celebrating Statehood with a Constitutional Framer - Vic Fischer feature

This is a follow-up to LitSite's Writing a Constitution.

As Alaskans celebrate the 50th year of statehood, there is no more significant document than our own Constitution, the fundamental foundation that governs our society. Then 31-year-old Victor Fischer was one of 55 delegates who participated in the Constitutional Convention where he had a hand in writing the important document.

In a recent interview, Fischer reflects on the monumental occasion. "It's great to be alive 50 years later and pontificate!" he jokes. "There are only three of us (from the Convention) still living. It is tremendous to see the dream of the delegates not just realized but also exceeded."

Read on...

Peter Dunlap-Shohl Peter Dunlap-Shohl

Peter Dunlap-Shohl, a former cartoonist for the Anchorage Daily News for more than 25 years, is also an amazing writer and animator of his own cartoons.

The following is the opening stanza from Dunlap-Shohl's, Susitna Story, a tale of musher Susitna Sal and her race with the devil.

Where the moon casts crazy shadows through the twisted tilting spruce,
In the dark and drunken forests roam demons on the loose.
Through tangled winding willow hells, o'er ice-bound mountain streams
Is where you'll find the Devil, training his dog team...

Read the entire poem and watch the animated video here...

AK Kids front page AlaskaKids - a Web Site for Alaska Children

LitSite Alaska now has a special Web site just for kids! AlaskaKids is a great online learning tool with fun and educational information, games, and historical and cultural information about Alaska.

Share the fun of learning Alaska history, culture and wildlife...

Vic Fischer cap and gown Celebrating Statehood - ...continued from top.

Fischer says the Constitution set up the basic framework for the state and it's amazing to see how it has functioned since statehood. He cites the judiciary system as the finest in the nation, and says the "resource" article (Article 8, Section 2) has been very important in terms of the royalties the state has received. "Alaskans have certainly benefitted," Fischer says, "and yet it was totally unforeseeable!"

LitSite Alaska features Writing a Constitution, by Deborah Tobola, a story highlighting the magnitude of the job that 55 delegates were given at the Constitutional Convention.

Writing a constitution that would remain relevant to the Alaska of today was no easy task. Fischer speaks with pride about the extent "to which Native and indigenous culture underline our character and values as a state." Prior to the writing of the Constitution, "there was very little organization between Native communities; today we have regional corporations delivering services and jobs."

When asked about challenges the state might experience in the next 50 years, Fischer says Alaska is still an open society and the land of opportunity, but as citizens, Alaskans need to be more engaged. Fischer says we have obligations to other people and to the state, and that means, "being active participants - getting together with family and friends, acknowledging problems and working together to solve them. We must all exercise our responsibilities."

As for Fischer himself, he says life has been good during the past 50 years.  He has spent his entire career in public service, from serving one term in the territorial legislature to becoming the first director of what is now commonly known as "ISER", the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He actively lectures on his experiences to high school students and civic groups, and he is involved in civic issues. Fischer says he intends to stay engaged in the process as long as he can, "contacting politicians and public officials, writing letters and testifying about issues that are important in my city and state."

It has been said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. LitSite offers an opportunity to know Alaska's history by learning from those who were actually there to write it. Check out Writing a Constitution for a unique window into life in Alaska with submissions by state leaders and authors.

View the State of Alaska Constitution.