A museum in Anchorage has paused a controversial coverage meant to supply free admission to Alaska natives.
The coverage, introduced on January 3, allowed Alaska Native guests to self-identity on the museum’s ticket counter; no proof of tribal enrollment was required to obtain complementary admission.
In a press release shared Tuesday, the museum mentioned the pause “is within the curiosity of creating certain we’re consistent with our intention to honor Indigenous folks and supply entry to their cultural belongings whereas additionally fulfilling the broader group issues and relevant museum tips and the legislation.”
Per native stories, the coverage was divisive within the Anchorage group. In a single Anchorage Each day Information opinion piece, Donald Craig Mitchell, an lawyer based mostly within the Alaskan metropolis, described the initiative as discrimination in opposition to non-Alaska Native guests, in accordance with his interpretation of the Equal Safety Clause within the 14th Modification to the USA Structure.
Many praised the museum’s intention—the Native Village of Eklutna, the one federally-recognized tribe within the metropolis, wrote on Fb, “Nice information for Anchorage’s authentic inhabitants!”—whereas others nonetheless raised considerations over the coverage’s lax necessities for proving Native enrollment.
In line with its launch, the museum “stay(s) deeply dedicated to the objectives of honoring Indigenous folks and enhancing entry to their cultural belongings.”
A museum spokesperson instructed KTOO, a accomplice outlet of Alaska Public Media, that the coverage was below assessment, nevertheless as of now there have been no challenges to its legality.