Let’s end American colonialism


To the editor: “Let Us End American Colonialism” was read on Nov. 9, 1955, day two of Alaska’s constitutional convention, by delegate Ernest Gruening. The former territorial governor and U.S.senator’s speech was a history of Alaskan occupation and exploitation. It also is a warning for today.

67 years later, Gruening and every delegate but Vic Fischer has died. The Promyshlenniki, mining, logging, and fishing interests Gruening cited as Alaska’s abusers have, too. But colonialism persists in the Last Frontier: today’s “exploit[ative]” interests are international minerals extraction companies and Lower 48-funded politicking.

“Colonialism” is “the … practice of acquiring … political control over another [place], occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.”

The campaign to change Alaska’s Constitution is American colonialism. Alaskans can listen to our forefathers and mothers make the 1955 constitution (recordings are found online), and while the delegates afforded us the ability to change our constitution, they didn’t intend it to take rights away.

Read More: Fairbanks Daily News Miner