Overlooked Heroes: Alaska Natives and the Legacy of the Alaska Territorial Guard

alaska native veterans veterans day Nov 14, 2023

Each year on Veterans Day, our country comes together to honor the brave men and women
who have served our country. I, like so many others, have veterans in my family, and I have
witnessed first-hand the bravery, dedication, hard work and sacrifice it takes to serve.
I have also noticed there is a group of veterans that are often overlooked. I would like to shine a
spotlight on these unseen heroes: Alaska Natives and the Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG).

Indigenous Contributions to Our Country

Iñupiat, Yup'ik, Aleut, Athabascan and Tlingit, as well as other Indigenous men and women,
contributed greatly to our national history and defense – both in the past and present day.
The Alaska Territorial Guard is a testament to their bravery and commitment. Formed during
World War II, this volunteer force, primarily composed of Alaska Natives, played a pivotal role
in safeguarding the vast Alaskan territory from potential invasion. Their dedication to
protecting their homeland amid challenging conditions was extraordinary.

Receiving Long-Overdue Acknowledgement

It wasn't until the year 2000 that members of the ATG received honorable discharges, a
significant acknowledgment of their service. Despite their contributions during the war, these
brave individuals had not been formally recognized for their service until then.
This long-overdue acknowledgment brought a well-deserved honor to the courageous men and
women who selflessly served in the ATG, rectifying an oversight and providing the respect and
recognition they rightfully deserved.
To view a comprehensive list of ATG members or to apply for ATG status, visit the Alaska
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs website.

Honoring Alaska Native and All Veterans

On future Veterans Days – and every day – I invite you to join me in honoring and remembering
the valor and sacrifices of the brave men and women of the Alaska Territorial Guard, along with
all veterans who have served our nation selflessly.
We extend our deepest gratitude to all veterans and their families for their service and
sacrifice. Their courage and dedication have played an integral role in shaping our nation and
continue to inspire us all.

Bloom Communications: Cultivating Relationships

At Bloom Communications, we know how critical it is to cultivate respectful and collaborative
relationships with Alaska Native communities. We are dedicated to helping businesses build
meaningful relationships, engaging with Alaska Native groups with the utmost sensitivity,
respect and cultural understanding.

Through our cultural training workshops and consulting services, we help businesses engage
with these communities in ways that honor their traditions, foster collaboration, promote
mutual respect, and create mutually beneficial partnerships. If your business or organization
would benefit from this approach, please get in touch.

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