February 10, 2014

The Arctic Brotherhood was a secret society or fraternal association formed by men on their way to the gold rush. Apparently it was started in the saloon or dining room of a ship on its way to Skagway before the men had even landed in the north. Membership was restricted to white men over the age of 18 who resided in Alaska or Yukon. They did not allow women, the indigenous people who actually had lived in the north for millenium or likely anyone who wasn’t white.

arcticbrotherhoodThe Arctic Brotherhood created their own regalia (white parkas with white fur trim), rituals, ceremonies (Hailing the Triumph Sun on the shortest day of the year), and had their own camp anthem, dedicated to their Arctic Queen:

Hail, to our Arctic Queen;
Fairer there ne’er has been;
Hail to the Queen,
Hail to her Iciness!
Hail to her Mightiness!
She cometh now our camp to cheer.
Hail! Arctic Queen!

 

Alaska_Native_Brotherhood_Hall,_Sitka_Camp_No._1,_Katlian_Street,_Sitka,_(Sitka_Borough,_Alaska)In contrast the Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Alaska Native Sisterhood were formed in the 1912 to address racism against indigenous people in Alaska and to fight for civil rights and land claims.

Elizabeth_PeratrovichElizabeth Peratrovich, a member and grand president of the Arctic Native Sisterhood and a member of the Lukaax̱.ádi clan, in the Raven moiety of the Tlingit nation, helped to win the passage of the 1945 state anti-discrimination act.

When the bill came up in the Senate, Allen Shattuck a territorial senator violently opposed it. He asked “Who are these people, barely out of savagery, who want to associate with us whites, with 5,000 years of recorded civilization behind us?”

In response, Elizabeth Peratrovich said, “I would not have expected that I, who am barely out of savagery, would have to remind gentlemen with five thousand years of recorded civilization behind them, of our Bill of Rights.”

Arctic Brotherhood Links

Arctic Brotherhood Photos

arcticbrotherhood.org

www.skagwaystories.org

www.arcticbrotherhood.com