House passes bill to honor late Walter Soboleff

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska House has passed legislation that would make Nov. 14 of each year Dr. Walter Soboleff Day in Alaska.

HB217 passed 35-0 and now goes to the Senate. Soboleff, a Tlingit elder, died in 2011 at age 102. Primary sponsors of the bill are Reps.

Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins of Sitka, Peggy Wilson of Wrangell and Cathy Munoz and Beth Kerttula of Juneau.

Kerttula resigned in January and Rep. Rep. Sam Kito III, who succeeded her, signed onto the bill as a co-sponsor. Wilson, in a release, said Soboleff worked tirelessly to preserve his culture.

She said he was the first Alaska Native pastor in Juneau and welcomed everyone to his church.