Creating Alaska

Name: Frank Peratrovich

City: Klawock

District: 6

Occupation: Merchant, Fisherman, Logger, Cannery Operator

Born: April 2, 1895 - Klawock, Alaska

Death: January, 1984 - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Resident: Lifelong

Convention Posts:

  • First Vice President
  • Member, Committee on Suffrage, Elections and Apportionment
  • Member, Committee on Finance and Taxation

Education: Haskell Institute, Capital Business College, Portland Business College

Public Offices and Organizations:

  • Mayor, City of Klawock
  • Territorial House of Representatives - 1945-47
  • State House of Representatives - 1969-73
  • Territorial Senate - 1947-51
  • State Senate - 1957-67

Honors Received:

  • Honorary Doctorate of Public Service, University of Alaska - 1973
  • Elected to 49er Hall of Fame - 1972
  • President, Alaska Native Brotherhood

Quote from the Constitutional Convention:

"I know this question, perhaps, is not understood by, I would estimate, 40 per cent of you here. By that, I mean you don't realize how vital it is to us people down from the Southern Division of Alaska. As Mr. Taylor has related to you, and other speakers here, this attempt of doing something about this unfair competition of fishing with traps has been carried on for years. We have gone to the legislature, and I have been a part of the legislature where an attempt was made to memorialize Congress. In most cases we were successful in doing so, but those of you that are familiar with the proceedings of the legislature are aware of how meaningless memorials are to Congress. You can memorialize all that you want to on any issue you want to, not only fish traps, but that is as far as it will go. You never get any action on it in Congress. Now, I can't say that it was exactly the fault of the legislators that we memorialize Congress to do something about the traps. We had no other alternative under the Organic Act; that was the only way we could approach this vital question, but we made several attempts as I stated.

Now, in drawing this constitution, we are very much concerned with our natural resources; we made provisions for one of our major resources -- mining -- and I was satisfied to abide by the people that were familiar with this type of work. I do feel that fisheries is a very important resource to Alaska, too, and it has come to a point where those of us that are willing to live in Alaska and know of no other place, are going to live here permanently, I think it is our duty to try to do something about it."

-Delegate Frank Peratrovich, Day 65 of the Constitutional Convention, speaking on the issue of fishtraps and the impotence of the Alaska Territorial Legislature with regards to the management of Alaska fish and game. Alaska's fish and game were managed by the federal government prior to statehood. Changes to Alaska wildlife or fisheries policy required the Alaska Territorial Legislature to petition the US Congress to change federal law.