A bill introduced by two state senators would align Alaska with national and local recognition of Alaska Native Heritage Month.

Sens. Elvi Gray-Jackson, D-Anchorage, and Donny Olson, D-Golovin, introduced Senate Bill 86 Wednesday. The legislation would designate the month of November to honor Alaska Natives statewide.

In a press release, Gray-Jackson and Olson said the month would acknowledge contributions to the state made by Alaska Native people, and offer opportunity to share their impact with all Alaskans.

"Alaska Natives have a strong, rich culture that continues to inspire me and all Alaskans to this day," Gray-Jackson said. "This is a great opportunity to recognize the First Alaskans, bring awareness of all the different tribes, and communities throughout this state and celebrate that rich diversity."

"Shedding light on the accomplishments of Alaska Natives showcases the foundation of this state," Olson said. "Each recognition celebrates our history, culture, and language, and continues our efforts in preserving and revitalizing our way of life for generations to come."

November is already federally observed as American Indian Heritage and Alaska Native Heritage Month. That resolution was passed in 1990 by then-President George H. W. Bush. The Anchorage Assembly joined in recognizing the month in 2007.

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