It belongs to us all
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has, according to news reports, decided to leave to the Native village of Eklutna the fate of a statue of famed British navigator and explorer James Cook now standing in Resolution Park overlooking Cook Inlet in Downtown Anchorage.
This, after calls on social media for the statue’s removal. Cook, after all, had the temerity to unapologetically explore the world and claim what he found for Great Britain without bothering to ask local inhabitants’ permission. It was the fashion of the time.
The Cook statue was a given to Anchorage as a gift from British Petroleum during the American Bicentennial Celebration in 1976. Anchorage’s statue is a replica of one in Anchorage’s sister city, Whitby, England.
We suppose whatever will happen to the statue will happen, given the rush to eradicate or change history to suit current political needs, but it is worth noting that the Cook statue was given to the city of Anchorage, not Mayor Berkowitz to do with as he sees fit, nor to the Native village of Eklutna. It was given to the city.
We also note that allowing Eklutna to decide the statue’s fate ignores other Native cultures in the Cook Inlet area.
It would be a nice touch in this cancel culture age if once in a while our betters took just a moment to ask the people they supposedly represent – all of them – what they would like done.