Agnes Harrison

Agnes Harrison

Fighting for Indigenous Rights

As a young woman, Yup’ik Agnes Harrison of Tevyaraq/Crooked Creek moved to Anchorage to attend high school and work.

Agnes learned that Alaska Native peoples from rural parts of the state were being arrested for “indigency” on the streets of Anchorage because they carried no cash (which was not a particularly useful commodity in village life, traditionally based on economies of barter and exchange). When she earned her first paycheck, she took one dollar to the bank and exchanged it for 100 pennies, which she proceeded to freely distribute, preventing further arrests.

Agnes continued to fight for Indigenous rights throughout her life, working to promote language, culture and education. Did you know Agnes Harrison and have a story you’d like to share about her? We’d love to know more about her and about the powerful women in your life. Share your images and stories with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @anchoragemuseum and #ExtraToughWomenAK to be added to our ongoing digital curation project.

Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming exhibition and be sure to check back for new #ExtraToughWomenAK posts. Photo: Steve McCutcheon Collection; Anchorage Museum, B1990.014.5.People.14.293; Steve McCutcheon Collection; Anchorage Museum, B1990.014.5.People.14.299

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