Google taps Tlingit artist for Doodle honoring Alaska Native civil rights icon Elizabeth Peratrovich

A drawing of a woman wearing red speaking at a podium with a stylized eagle behind her
Google Doodle of Alaska Native civil rights icon Elizabeth Peratrovich by Michaela Goade (Source: Google)

If you need to Google something on Wednesday, you might see a familiar face.

The tech company’s Doodle of the day is of Alaska Native civil rights icon Elizabeth Peratrovich. For the illustration, they tapped Tlingit artist Michaela Goade who is based in Sitka.

“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. To be able to portray this strong Tlingit woman—as a Tlingit artist myself—is a good feeling,” Goade told Google. “It means a great deal to be able to represent our Nation in this way and uplift Elizabeth’s life and work.”

An early draft of the Elizabeth Peratrovich Google Doodle by Michaela Goade (Source: Google)
An early draft of the Elizabeth Peratrovich Google Doodle by Michaela Goade (Source: Google)
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An early draft of the Elizabeth Peratrovich Google Doodle by Michaela Goade (Source: Google)
An early draft of the Elizabeth Peratrovich Google Doodle by Michaela Goade (Source: Google)
View full size 982×418

Goade said Peratrovich’s 1945 testimony at the Alaska Territorial Legislature inspired her art. She also included elements honoring Peratrovich’s lineage — she belonged to the Lukaax̱.ádi clan of the Raven Moiety.

“In Tlingit creation stories, Raven was the one who brought daylight to the world. In the Doodle, Raven is holding the sun, which is a reference to this creation story. Similarly, Elizabeth was also a bringer of light to the world,” she said.

Goade said she hoped the illustration helps more people learn about Elizabeth Peratrovich’s history and civil rights work.

In 1941, Peratrovich and her husband Roy moved to Juneau but when they tried to buy a home, the seller denied them because they were Alaska Native. Experiences like that sparked Peratrovich’s activism for equality for Alaska Natives. And, in the same year, the Peratroviches worked with the Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Alaska Native Sisterhood and lawmakers on Alaska’s first anti-discrimination bill.

The bill failed when it was first introduced in 1941, but it passed on Feb. 16, 1945, after Peratrovich’s speech at the legislature garnered a passionate reaction from the gallery.

The Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945 was the first of its kind in the United States. In 1988, the Alaska Legislature declared Feb. 16 Elizabeth Peratrovich Day.

Earlier this year, around the 75th anniversary of the Anti-Discrimination Act, the U.S. Mint released a $1 coin honoring Peratrovich. It is the first coin featuring an Alaska Native.

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