Monumental in the United States faces the monument to the first Russian Governor of Alaska: the Diaspora tries to save him

Alexander Baranov was the first Russian Governor of Alaska and founder of Sitka. Amid protests and “monumented” in the United States, the authorities of Sitka asked to move the monument Baranov in another place. He is accused of genocide of the indigenous population of Alaska. Russian-speaking residents of Alaska created a petition in support of conservation of the monument, as part of the story, writes Change.Org.

Монументопад в США грозит памятнику первого русского губернатора Аляски: диаспора пытается его спасти

Photo: Shutterstock

Monument Baranov is in the historic centre of the city, which until 1867 was called new Archangel and was the headquarters of the Russian-American company and the capital of Russian America.

Under Baranov’s leadership has built more than 200 settlements, including important infrastructure such as shipyards, industrial and agricultural production, as well as institutions such as public libraries, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. More than 60 churches and a Seminary was built under his leadership.

Recognizing his numerous accomplishments, the U.S. Navy named the ship in honor of Baranova and in 1942 placed him in the composition of the Alaska state defense force based in Kodiak.

Russian-speaking residents of Alaska stated that “oppose local proposals to move the statue and described it as an attempt to erase the important pages of the rich history of Alaska, Russian-American heritage and intercultural interaction.”

Why do you want to move the monument

Tuesday, 30 June, tribal Council and government of Sitka passed a resolution in support of the transfer of the statue of Alexander Baranov Museum, writes Sitkasentinel.

The resolution States that the government will move the statue and put a new monument that would “honor all past, present and future generation of Sitka”.

The resolution recognized that Alexander Baranov is an important part of the history of Sitka, but emphasizes the pain that sheep have caused indigenous peoples Sitka and other parts of Alaska.

“It is well known that Alexander Baranov as a Director of the Russian-American fur company, left an indelible mark in the history of Sitka, the resolution says. — However, it is also well known that much of this history is related to the direct supervision Baranova for the enslavement of the Tlingit and the Aleuts, who hunted fur-bearing animals almost to their disappearance, a violation of the law, murder and theft of property of indigenous peoples — often justified by theories of racial and cultural superiority”.

The resolution notes that the statue Baranov for many, peace does not mean the arrival of Europeans to the area.

“Violence Baranov continues to remain at the hearing, and waves of historical trauma is still hurting indigenous peoples to the present day, the resolution says. — The Baranov statue in the Central square in Sitka continues to cause divisions in society.”

“Placing the monument in the city centre may lead to the wrong message to residents and visitors of Sitka, the resolution says. Monument Baranov continues to show a figure, soaked in racial division, violence and injustice.”

The resolution followed a petition of the citizens that the authorities removed the statue, and peaceful protest in front of the Hall century Harrigan at the end of June.

The monument was a gift from Lloyd and Barbara Haimes in 1989. In his statement at the Assembly meeting of June 23, grandson Brian Haimes said that the decision to move the monument does not belong to his family.

“This statue was a gift, and as with any gift, what will happen to him is made, based on the recipient”, — he said.

Who is Alexander Baranov

A native of the Arkhangelsk region Alexander Baranov to 1780 was engaged in trade in Russia, and then headed North-East (later Russian-American) company, engaged in the fur trade in the Aleutian Islands and off the coast of North the USA, writes Lenta.Ua.

In 1799 he founded on the island of Sitka (Southeast Alaska) Fort Archangel Michael. On the one hand, the Fort was laid with the permission of the elders of the Indians-Tlingit, on the other — the activities of the Russian-American company undermined the basis of economic prosperity. The income of the Tlingit brought the fishing of sea otters-sea otters, and in this sense the Russians were in direct competition with Indians.

In may 1802 began the revolt of the Tlingit, who sought to expel Russian along with canoe fleets from their land. In June a detachment of 600 Indians under the leadership of chief Katlian destroyed the Fort, killing 24 Russians and 200 Aleuts.

Accumulating power, Baranov had undertaken a punitive expedition by means of a military sloop “Neva”, drove out the Indians, but instead destroyed their strongholds founded the settlement of new Archangel, became the capital of Russian America.

Clashes, however, continued, and in 1805, Baranov ordered to destroy several thousand of the Tlingit, who were hiding in the mountains on the island of Sitka, which was soon renamed “the island Baranova”. The ensuing truce, the Indians are not recognized because it was concluded without compliance with appropriate ceremonies. In 1807, for the fight against the Tlingit Baranov was awarded the order of St. Anne 2 nd degree.

Only 200 years later — in 2004 — took place the official ceremony of reconciliation between the clan kiksadi and Russia. The ceremony was organized in a clearing, near the totem pole leader Katlian and with the participation of Muscovite Irina Afrasinei — prapravnuchka Alexander Baranov.

For a dozen years before that in front of the community center Harrigan Centennial Hall on the ocean was a statue Baranova, who saw himself as a Conquistador and was compared with the Francisco Pizarro who captured the Inca Empire.

What will happen to the statue

About 10% of residents of Sitka are the modern descendants of Russian settlers in the nineteenth century, but this does not mean that acts are to leave here with understanding and pride. Representatives of the Alaska Native Sisterhood has already gathered 900 signatures for the transfer of the monument for a town with a population of less than 9,000 residents, this is an impressive figure.

“Sheep is the historical figure responsible for the murder, enslavement, rape, he’s guilty of genocide,” said local resident Nicholas Galanin.

Family members established the monument, not opposed to his transfer, but please do not destroy the statue, hoping that it will find its place in the Museum.

The mayor of the city of Sitka’s Gary Paxton also believes that sculpture should leave, while setting a monument to someone from representatives of the Tlingit, given that they account for a third of the population.

It should be noted that the house of Alexander Baranov, originally the store of the Russian-American Company built the first capital of Russian America — Pavlovskaya harbour (now Kodiak) — since 1962, is recognized as a National historic landmark and is now on the national register of historic places. Perhaps the statue of the “Russian Pizarro” here will look quite organically, although to date the question remains open.


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