Filipinos in Alaska, 1788-1958 by Thelma Buchholdt
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Foreward from Ramona Barnes: The story of Alaska's Filipino heritage is largely unknown to Alaskans. Therefore, I was very pleased to sponsor the appropriation of funds to research and document the early history of the Filipino contact and growth in Alaska, when I served as Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives in 1993 to 1994. As Chair of the House World Trade and State/Federal Relations Committee, I have become more aware of the importance of Southeast Asia. And because I once lived in the Philippines as a military wife, I am perhaps more aware than the average Alaskan of the importance of the Philippines and of the Filipino community in Alaska. We all must recognize'the community's cultural importance and value to Alaska as we integrate into the dynamic Pacific Rim economy. Alaska's Filipino heritage is an integral part of our common heritage, and it is my hope that this research report will result in the teaching of this history in our schools and universities. To the degree Alaskans become aware of their Asian Pacific roots , Alaska's growth as a Pacific Rim trading partner will be assured. While our schools now focus upon our European and African backgrounds, our future involving Pacific Rim trade will require our educational focus on Alaska's Asian heritage. The story of the Filipino contact and community growth in Alaska is an important element of this Alaska Asian heritage. To the degree that Alaska-born Filipinos and young Filipino immigrants are made aware and proud of their Filipino heritage. as well as the may contributions Filipinos have made to our common growth and development, Alaska's Filipino community will flourish and gain strength, and this strength will benefit all Alaskans. It is my hope and belief this document will promote public knowledge and pride in Alaska's Filipino heritage.