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In 1945, Elizabeth Peratrovich stood before the Alaska Territorial Legislative Session and gave a powerful speech about her childhood and her experiences being treated as a second-class citizen. Her heartfelt testimony led to the passing of the landmark Alaska Anti-Discrimination Act, America’s first civil rights legislation. Today, Alaska celebrates Elizabeth Peratrovich Day every February 16, and Elizabeth Peratrovich was honored on the gold dollar coin in 2020.
Annie Boochever worked with Elizabeth’s eldest son, Roy Peratrovich Jr., to bring Elizabeth’s story to life in the first book written for young teens on this remarkable Alaska Native woman. Written about an Alaska Native civil rights leader, Fighter in Velvet Gloves has been incorporated in school curricula around the country, and won the 2019 Lumen Award for Literary Excellence, in addition to receiving many other national recognitions. This study guide is a custom work designed to help instructors teach the story of Elizabeth Peratrovich to students in grades 6 through 12.
About the Author
Annie Boochever grew up in Juneau, where she became a teacher and playwright. She is the cofounder of the Alaska Children’s Theater. She is also the author of Bristol Bay Summer. She lives in Bellingham, Washington.