Elizabeth Peratrovich was featured in a Google Doodle, seen above, on Dec. 30, 2020. The Tlingit civil rights activist was illustrated by a Sitka-based Tlingit artist for the tech company. (Courtesy Image / Google)

Elizabeth Peratrovich was featured in a Google Doodle, seen above, on Dec. 30, 2020. The Tlingit civil rights activist was illustrated by a Sitka-based Tlingit artist for the tech company. (Courtesy Image / Google)

Google spotlights Tlingit civil rights icon with Doodle

Alaskans won’t need to Google her.

Tech giant Google brought Tlingit civil rights advocate Elizabeth Peratrovich to the attention of many Tuesday evening when they ran out a Doodle created by a Southeast artist featuring the iconic activist.

“I was excited to see it. I was surprised. It’s pretty awesome to see,” said Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson, president of Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, in a phone interview. “Elizabeth and her husband, Roy Peratrovich, are, as far as civil rights activism goes, decades ahead of the rest of the country.”

Peratrovich, born on July 4, 1911, is known for her role in helping pass one of the United States’ first antidiscrimination laws. The Doodle recognizes this day in 1941, when Peratrovich and her husband wrote a letter to the governor of Alaska to gain his support after seeing a sign reading ‘No Natives Allowed’ on an inn in Juneau. After a first anti-discrimination bill failed to pass in 1941, Peratrovich persevered, delivering a blistering speech before the Legislature in 1945.

[Legislative Council sets mask policy for upcoming session]

“For women, for our Native people, for people of color, she was so far ahead of everyone else. And such a class act. So eloquent, articulate,” Peterson said. “Her major speech was such a smackdown on those who classified us as savages.”

Elizabeth Peratrovich was featured in a Google doodle, seen above in an early draft, on Dec. 30, 2020. The Tlingit civil rights activist was illustrated by a Sitka-based Tlingit artist for the tech company. (Courtesy art / Google)

Elizabeth Peratrovich was featured in a Google doodle, seen above in an early draft, on Dec. 30, 2020. The Tlingit civil rights activist was illustrated by a Sitka-based Tlingit artist for the tech company. (Courtesy art / Google)

The drawing was created by Tlingit artist Michaela Goade, a Sitka-based illustrator of picture books. Goade was excited for the opportunity to raise awareness about Peratrovich, basing her illustration on Peratrovich delivering her famous speech before the Legislature, the artist told Google.

“It meant a lot to work on this project. Elizabeth Peratrovich often doesn’t receive the recognition she deserves, and her story is important, inspiring, and powerful,” Goade said. “To be able to portray this strong Tlingit woman — as a Tlingit artist myself — is a good feeling. It means a great deal to be able to represent our Nation in this way and uplift Elizabeth’s life and work.”

Peratrovich’s representation — and other Tlingit art and culture — is increasing in visibility. Peratrovich appeared on the gold $1 coin this year and Juneau artist recently created the first Tlingit-designed art to be featured in a stamp. This increased representation is coming with a groundswell of appreciation and acceptance of Alaska Native cultures and languages, Peterson said.

Elizabeth Peratrovich was featured in a Google doodle, seen above, on Dec. 30, 2020. The Tlingit civil rights activist was illustrated by a Sitka-based Tlingit artist for the tech company. (Courtesy art / Google)

Elizabeth Peratrovich was featured in a Google doodle, seen above, on Dec. 30, 2020. The Tlingit civil rights activist was illustrated by a Sitka-based Tlingit artist for the tech company. (Courtesy art / Google)

“This renaissance has been happening, I would say, for decades,” Peterson said. “This is not a new development. But I think it’s gaining traction.”

The Doodles are one of the Google search engine’s most visible features, rotating to reflect historical figures or current events. Other Doodles that have appeared on Dec. 30 include references to Korean poet Yun Dong-Jue, Saudi Arabian singer Etab and Russian poet Daniil Kharms, according to Google.

“It is my hope that this Doodle helps spread awareness of Elizabeth—who she was, where she came from, and the equality she fought so passionately for,” Goade said.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

Elizabeth Peratrovich was featured in a Google doodle, seen above in an early draft, on Dec. 30, 2020. The Tlingit civil rights activist was illustrated by a Sitka-based Tlingit artist for the tech company. (Courtesy art / Google)

Elizabeth Peratrovich was featured in a Google doodle, seen above in an early draft, on Dec. 30, 2020. The Tlingit civil rights activist was illustrated by a Sitka-based Tlingit artist for the tech company. (Courtesy art / Google)

More in News

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Officer William Hicks stands with JPD Chief Ed Mercer and Deputy Chief David Campbell during a swearing in ceremony for Hicks on Thursday at the JPD station in Lemon Creek. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
New officer joins JPD’s ranks

The Juneau Police Department welcomed a new officer to its ranks Thursday… Continue reading

These photos show Nova, a 3-year-old golden retriever, and the illegally placed body hold trap, commonly referred to as a Conibear trap, that caught her while walking near Outer Point Trail last week. (Courtesy / Jessica Davis)
Dog narrowly survives rare illegally placed trap in Juneau

State wildlife officials outlined what to do if found in similar situation

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Public defender agency to refuse some cases, citing staffing

ANCHORAGE — A state agency that represents Alaskans who cannot afford their… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police: Gift card scam connected to hoax Fred Meyer threats

This article has been moved in front of the Empire’s paywall. A… Continue reading

This is a concept design drawing that was included in the request for proposal sent out by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities seeking outside engineering and design services to determine whether it’s feasible to build a new ferry terminal facility in Juneau at Cascade Point. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
DOT takes steps toward potential Cascade Point ferry terminal facility

It would accommodate the Tazlina and or Hubbard, shorten trips to Haines and Skagway

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Feb. 3, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Daniel Winfree gets a standing ovation from the Alaska State Legislature as he enters the House chamber Wednesday to deliver his final State of the Judiciary speech. Winfree is stepping down next Monday when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Chief justice bids lawmakers a fervent farewell

Daniel Winfree, in State of Judiciary days before retirement, warns about mixing politics and courts

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, stands in the well of the House Chambers with other Democrats, including former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to hear Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., deliver remarks shortly after becoming the new minority leader on Jan. 6. The speech came after a nearly weeklong stalemate by Republicans in electing a speaker after they won a narrow majority in November’s election. (Screenshot from C-SPAN video feed)
Peltola learning the House party is over

Distractions and inaction replace honeymoon headlines as Alaska’s new rep joins minority.

Most Read