Justice

Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, stands outside of the Alaska State Capitol on May 20, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

Legislature modernizes 40-year-old definition of consent in sexual assault cases

BY: - May 20, 2022

Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, is relieved her bill to modernize the definition of consent passed this year. “When I think about a policy like a massive public safety improvement, if we delay action, I know that between now and the next time I or anyone else will have the opportunity to address that, hundreds more […]

Bill heading to governor creates roadmap for establishing tribally operated public schools

BY: - May 18, 2022

A bill that creates a roadmap for establishing tribally operated public schools has passed the Alaska Senate and House, and is headed to the governor’s desk. Senate Bill 34 directs the Board of Education and Early Development to work with Alaska Native tribal entities on an agreement that would formally recognize the tribes’ authority to […]

Feds sue Alaska over management of Kuskokwim fisheries

BY: - May 18, 2022

The federal government sued Alaska’s state government and the state Department of Fish and Game on Tuesday, saying in a filing at the U.S. District Court in Anchorage that the state illegally opened the Kuskokwim River for salmon fishing.  The lawsuit seeks an injunction to block similar future actions by the state. Low salmon returns […]

This is a picture of the Alaska State Capitol on May 5, 2022 in Juneau, Alaska.

Senate tables transgender sports bill again, likely ending its chances for now

BY: - May 17, 2022

A controversial Senate bill that would prohibit transgender girls from competing in girls sports got tabled Tuesday on the Senate floor – and, this time, it’s likely to stay that way. After placing a call on the house, Anchorage Republican Sen. Natasha von Imhof made a motion to table Senate Bill 140. Bill sponsor Shelley […]

Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, discusses House Bill 5 in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, May 6, 2022 at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (James Brooks / Alaska Beacon)

Alaska lawmakers want to modernize outdated state definition of consent

BY: - May 13, 2022

When Rebecca Farrell discusses healthy relationships with her students, she describes consent as something that is freely given, reversible, informed and enthusiastic. This grouping of words is also known as FRIES. Farrell is a physical science and health teacher at Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau. “If somebody says, ‘Hey, you want to go upstairs?’ […]

Alaska Senate approves bill formally recognizing Native tribes

BY: - May 13, 2022

Alaska’s state government would formally recognize all of Alaska’s 229 federally recognized tribes under legislation passed Friday by the state Senate in a 15-0 vote. If signed into law by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, the measure will be mostly ceremonial. Lawmakers said it nonetheless represents an opportunity to respect Alaska Natives and tribal organizations that have […]

Congress explores creation of truth commission for U.S. Indian Boarding Schools

BY: - May 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Survivors of a U.S. policy that forced Indigenous children to attend boarding schools where they were abused, or went missing, detailed to members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel during a Thursday hearing the need for Congress to establish a truth commission dedicated to unveiling the traumas Indigenous children experienced at the […]

Soldotna Planned Parenthood center is closing at the end of May

BY: - May 13, 2022

After more than 30 years in operation, Planned Parenthood’s Soldotna clinic is closing at the end of May. Patients will be referred to the Anchorage clinic or to the organization’s telemedicine services. “In terms of just general care, anything that we can provide over telemedicine, we will. Patients would still need to come into our […]

Albuquerque Indian School in 1885, relocated from Duranes in 1881 (Photo from the National Archive)

Interior Department report details the brutality of federal Indian boarding schools

BY: - May 12, 2022

These schools used “militarized” tactics to assimilate Native American children as young as 4-years-old in environments described in the report as fostering, “rampant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; disease; malnourishment; overcrowding; and lack of health care.”

This is a picture of Anne Sears, the State of Alaska's investigator for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People, standing in front of the Alaska State Capitol on May 5, 2022.

Entire life prepares Alaska investigator of missing and murdered Indigenous people

BY: - May 11, 2022

When Anne Sears spoke in front of a crowd of more than 100 people on the Alaska State Capitol steps for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People rally on May 5, she wore a red scarf that belonged to her mom. “She passed away a couple of years ago. I think she’d be beyond words […]

This image shows a close up of braided black hair

House passes bill to eliminate hair discrimination, but deletes workplace protection

BY: - May 11, 2022

A Senate bill that aims to eliminate hair discrimination in the school and workplace passed the House Tuesday, but in a drastically different form. An amendment deleted the portion relating to the workplace. In the bill’s original intent, school boards and employers wouldn’t be allowed to adopt a dress code that: prohibits an individual from […]

The Boney Courthouse building in Anchorage holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Dictionary decides Alaska Supreme Court case

BY: - May 11, 2022

The Alaska Supreme Court said last week that a dictionary definition of “official misconduct” was the key factor in proving the legality of a recall election against Anchorage Assembly Member Meg Zaletel.  On Friday, the court released a legal opinion in a two-year-old, now-resolved dispute over a recall campaign seeking to remove Zaletel from office. […]