Alaska Federation of Natives leadership calls for Trump’s resignation after violence at Capitol

A woman in a pink shirt speaks at t
Alaska Federation of Natives President Julie Kitka. (Alaska Federation of Natives)

Leaders of Alaska’s largest Alaska Native organization have called for President Donald Trump to resign.

Alaska Federation of Natives president Julie Kitka said she was horrified by the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. AFN joined Alaska’s congressional delegation in condemning the actions.

“It really truly was a riot. And we felt that we needed to come out, and condemn it, and call it for what it is,” Kitka said. “The full weight of the law needs to go on all those perpetrators and the people who planned this, because it was wrong.”

Five people were killed, including one Capitol Police officer, after a group left a Trump rally and forced its way into the Capitol building. AFN co-chair Ana Hoffman said one of the things most striking in the attack was police treatment of the rioters, most of whom were white. She said the police officers’ restraint was in stark contrast to treatment of Black and Native protesters in D.C. last year.

“I think the rest of the country was able to see the real disparity between how law enforcement and others respond to people of color versus the group that we saw at the Capitol,” Hoffman said. “So, that is the reality that Alaska Native people, brown and Black people experience every day.”

Hoffman said last week’s events show police are capable of de-escalating violent crowds without using force.

“Acknowledging the difference in responses is another place for law enforcement to start,” she said.

AFN leadership said they support Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s position that the president should go. Last week, Murkowski said the president was responsible for the violence, after encouraged his supporters at the rally to march on the Capitol where Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 election, and that he should resign.

RELATED: I can’t just be quiet right now’: Murkowski says Trump needs to resign

Kitka said Murkowski showed leadership in bucking her party to oppose the president.

“Knowing that she was pretty lone out there doing that, we just felt we needed to show public support behind what she is trying to say, what she is pushing for,” Kitka said. “She’s a very responsible leader and she is not radical. She is a common sense and solid person on that.”

The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to impeach President Trump for the second time in just over a year. Alaska’s Congressman Don Young voted, by proxy, against impeachment.

RELATED: Rep. Young votes against impeaching Trump

The articles of impeachment will be sent to the U.S. Senate for trial. Kitka says AFN’s leadership plans to contact Senator Dan Sullivan ahead of any vote by senators.

This isn’t the first time AFN has condemned President Trump: They objected to his use of the name Pocahontas as a slur during remarks at a ceremony honoring the Navajo code talkers of World War II.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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