Flight of the Raven

  • Sponsors: Friends Of Peratrovich Park
  • Status: Complete
  • Award: $20,000
  • Challenge: Total cash raised: $56,100; total volunteers: 20+; volunteer hours: 1770; skilled volunteer hours: 775; total expenses: $71,981; remaining funds to spend: $4,539; total match value: $133,575
  • Total Project Value including Rasmuson Foundation Grant: $153,575
Man with metal raven sculpture
Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich Park Enhancement

The Anchorage Park Foundation helped raise funds to install a statue titled Flight of the Raven, by Roy Peratrovich Jr., in Roy and Elizabeth Peratrovich Park. The project construction, landscaping and dedication is complete. This group will use the remaining funds it raised for education and the enhancement of cultural aspects of project goals and objectives.

Peratrovich Park in downtown Anchorage is located at 4th and E. Street. It is a focal point for tourists and businesses all year long. Help us celebrate the dignity, tenacity and sense of justice that the Peratroviches exhibited by honoring the movement of civil rights for all with a donation to this public art in the parks project. Raven symbolizes the shedding of the darkness of discrimination and the rising of hope and dreams of a people once oppressed.

Project description:

Raven is made of bronze, finished with a highly polished black patina. With a 4 -foot wingspan, Raven is attached to the top of the smoke trail nearly 10 feet above the ground. The twisted and curved smoke trail is made of polished stainless steel plates. The sun carried in Raven’s beak is a 2 inch highly polished quartz with thin gold seams. Raven faces the rising sun.

About Roy and Elizabeth Peratrovich:

In Alaska Native legend, Raven brought light to the world when he stole the sun from an ancient Chief and gave it to the People. The Chief kept the sun hidden in a box, but through trickery, Raven seized it in his beak and escaped through the smokehole of the Chief’s lodge. The rising smoke turned Raven’s feathers black.

Roy and Elizabeth Peratrovich, Tlingit Indians of Southeastern Alaska, were leaders of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood during the time when discrimination against Alaska Natives was accepted practice. It was Elizabeth’s speech to the territorial Senators during the final hearing of the Anti-Discrimination Bill on February 8, 1945, that swayed the votes necessary to pass it 11 to 5. During her speech, when the Senate President asked if she thought passage of the bill would eliminate discrimination, she replied, “Do your laws against larceny and even murder prevent these crimes? No law will eliminate crimes, but at least you as legislators can assert to the world that you recognize the evil of the present situation and speak your intent to help us overcome discrimination.”

Primarily through their efforts, Alaska enacted one of the first Anti-Discrimination Laws in the nation on February 16, 1945. A new era in Alaska’s racial relations had begun. In recognition of their work, the State of Alaska designated February 16 as Elizabeth Peratrovich Day, and the Municipality of Anchorage created the Roy and Elizabeth Peratrovich Park in their memory.

Roy was a member of the Eagle Clan, and Elizabeth was a Raven — so in yet another way Raven brought light to the world.

Roy Peratrovich Jr., eldest son of Roy and Elizabeth is a noted engineer and artist. His work has been displayed nationally at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and the State Capitol Building in Juneau. His father was from the Eagle Clan and his mother from the Raven Clan.

Peratrovich Park Project Committee Members:

Steve Beardsley, Past Parks & Recreation Commissioner beardsleysn@alaska.net
Ken Takakuwa, Anchorage Division Manager Health Dept.
Kay Ashton, Alaska Native Heritage Center 
Roy Peratrovich Jr., Engineer and Artist
Peter Wong, Camp 87 Alaska Native Brotherhood