Cama’i – I am writing in regard to the recent Drag Queen Story Hour held at the Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) on June 26.

Katrina Tysinger protests outside the Alaska Native Heritage Center last month after the organization decided to host a Drag Queen Story Hour for young children.

ANHC’s description of this inaugural event states: “Since time-immemorial our Indigenous cultures holistically valued our People in support of their well-being, including fluidity of gender concepts.” This bold opening statement, however inclusive, is historically untrue of Alaska Natives.

Although Our People are generally tolerant, accepting, and loving, this event clearly incited “two-spirit” ideation into young children who were present. As reported by Joel Davidson of the Alaska Watchman, the MC introduced himself simply as Russ and told the children that they are all “two-spirited,” meaning they are neither male nor female, but along some vaguely defined gender spectrum. “Wherever you are from one half of your spirit to the other half of your spirit, that’s who you are in your identity, and you decide that okay?” Russ instructed the children. “So don’t forget that. We’re all two spirited. That’s what we call an individual who identifies as LGBT in our community – two spirited. It’s actually something that is quite normal for Native Alaskans.”

After researching the term “two-spirit” in Alaska archives and libraries, it is clearly a term that is not inherent to Alaska Natives, but coined by Canadian Native Americans at the Native American First Nations Gay and Lesbian Conference as late as 1990. Furthermore, “two-spirit” is not a loosely employed term, but the Rainbow Resource Centre rather describes them as rare and distinct, “people who were gifted among all beings…” Therefore, indoctrinating children at ANHC by publicly designating their gender posture and identity as “we’re all two-spirited” is factually erroneous and should not be generalized as traditional to our Alaska Native culture.

This burlesque “story hour” does not tell our story and is not what the majority of Our People want to be remembered for.

I am confident you are well aware of Alaska Native Heritage Center’s mission statement which states: “Alaska Native Heritage Center preserves and strengthens the traditions, languages, and art of Alaska’s Native People through statewide collaboration, celebration, and education.” The first action verb of your mission as the Board of Directors is to preserve. If your mission is to preserve and strengthen traditions of the Alaska Native People, I challenge you to focus on preserving our culture and language rather than borrowing modern terms from neighboring Native Americans to promote a sexualized agenda for our children.

It is public news that ANHC recently received a generous donation from well-known liberal activist, MacKenzie Scott. The drag queen story hour promotional states that funding for the event was provided in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is clear that ANHC, by housing this event, chooses to place their priorities on special interest party groups rather than carrying out the organization’s mission.

A drag queen performs on stage before small children during Drag Queen Story Hour last month at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Images captured from the ANHC Drag Queen Story Hour clearly show that Ivanna Kischacok, one of the performing queens exposed his undergarments to the children who attended.

This disclosure is indecent viewing. Is this a depiction of Alaska Native cultural preservation? If drag queens were such a prevalent part of Alaska Native culture, why weren’t any of the performing drag queens of Alaska Native ancestry? Where are the historical documents and photographs of drag queens among Alaska Natives?

Any rational parent who views these pictures would conclude that this behavior is normalizing sexuality among children. It is irresponsible for ANHC to condone such conduct in a state where child sexual assault is six times higher than the national average, as reported by Sexual Trauma Prevention and Response (STAR) of Alaska. If exposed in public view and these performances are praised, how is a child to exercise sound judgement when an imminent threat is present?

The recent Drag Queen Story Hour is a direct assault on Alaska Native culture. This event not only encourages historical fallacy, but disregards and masks the continuing trauma and child abuse which is already rampant in our state. This burlesque “story hour” does not tell our story and is not what the majority of Our People want to be remembered for. Nor is it what we want our future to be, entrusted into the hands of our young Alaska Native children.

The views expressed here are those of the writer.

Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

Drag queen story hour was an assault on our Alaska Native heritage (Open letter to AK Native Heritage Center)

Katrina Tysinger
Katrina Tysinger is the daughter of Jimmy Hurley, granddaughter of William Hurley, and of Yupik descent from the Bristol Bay region. She holds a BSc in Healthcare Administration, and has worked to promote career success for Alaska Native youth and adults. She helped found One Spirit Warriors to defend Alaska Native family values from propaganda that strives to alter Alaska Native heritage and cultural identity.


  • Jmk says:

    Thank you for your words and quoting, “preserve”. I appreciate you speaking out as someone who knows the values of Native Alaskans. I don’t think any children of any age or culture should be exposed to such sexualized activity. I don’t understand how parents allow such harm and trauma to their children.

  • Jen says:

    I think Native peoples before Western expansion kicked Homosexuals out of their community for being unproductive and creating disharmony.
    Hence! The kushataka, stick man, and giant folk stories told to children whom the evil being roaming the tundras, forests, and beaches looking for someone to kidnap especially the children when they strayed too far from the village.

    • Jen says:

      My heard childhood phrase native elders used to tease me when I teasingly run from my mother, the native elders will playfully say “watch out! Kushataka is going to get you!”
      Never thought much of it because of I didn’t know what was evil. It just sounded like a loving teasing game. I think the Native elders of my time didn’t know or remembered about evil and what evil practices were practiced or known even among Native communities before the Eastern and Western expansion.
      The knowledge to why Native peoples have Kushataka, Stick man, and evil giants is lost history why the stories were developed in the first place.

  • Fire says:

    Thank You Katrina for speaking so truthfully!

  • Steve Peterson says:

    Thank you Katrina. A very well written piece, and I am proud of you for taking this stand.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    The Native people of Alaska or any culture.
    Doesn’t need this sickness to be around children or anyone. It’s, just discussing filth.
    God will judge them for this Evil

  • Eric says:

    This is an amazingly well-written and cogent response to a tax-payer funded organization whose sole purpose of existence is to protect the legacy and promote the future of Alaska Native people. Hopefully the Board of Directors will wake up when it’s own people start rising up to take a stand.

  • Matthew says:

    Super happy it’s totally ok for Alaskan natives to claim an assault on their heritage – when white Alaskans are berated for doing such. Maybe – just maybe, it’s an assault on all of us.

  • Mongo Like Candy says:

    The only culture this child sex grooming event represented was Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • Dino says:

    This is child sex grooming. Plain and simple. It is time to turn this battleship around and make political activism a big part of all our lives. If we don’t, with all that is aligned against us, we are toast.

  • Andrew says:

    Thank you Katrina. As Alaskan Native myself, their crapshow in no way is a reflection of my tribe/village either. The show was an abomination and reeks of perversion on many levels and should never have occurred.

  • Alexander says:

    This behavior has never been as prevalent as these people said it is. Of course, our communities have typically been tolerant. But, no where in my Athabascan upbringing did I ever hear that I was a self-deciding two spirited being. I grew up a boy who became a man. With no trauma associated with that. The Heritage Center has allowed and supported a great shame upon our people.

  • DoneWithIt says:

    The perverse Left will stop at nothing to poison the youths souls by morally equivocating all manner of perversion and deviancy with traditional morals, values, and ethics.
    This is disgusting.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Spot on Katrina. It also seems that ANHC seriously needs some new board members. How and when are they elected?

  • G Aleution says:

    We are told by the left that we must be tolerant of these antics. The community should be reminded that God is Holy, Holy, Holy and we are commanded also to be holy. How does this presentation help in that regard. Eternity is a thing. Honor your gender while you are here.

  • Sharon Turner says:

    Kudos to Katrina! We have been looking at pursuing child sex abuse and dissemination of “Kiddie Porn” to innocent young children. This proves the CEO Edenshaw’ is easily swayed by the power of “$$ Gifts- with horrible stings attached. Our Heritage Center need to kick the Board to the curb, and re-instate the Centers wonderful goals for Alaska Natives and all law abiding Alaska peoples.


    I have always been an advocate of native American cultures, as being regional and distinct. It has always bothered me when Northwest tribes appropriate midwest tribal dress, regalia and rituals. I am not native, other than i was born in Portland Oregon in 1955, but I have always lived in the northwest, including a few years that I spent in Ketchikan. I support native traditions and life values. and bringing them forward into a modern world. Start with that, not with LGBTQ men or women abusing and infusing young people’s minds with smut and trash.

  • Garrett Lieb says:

    My name is Garrett R Lieb I come from Bethel, Alaska ONC is my Native tribal council
    And I’m a proud Yupik/Inupiaq Native man my Yupik name is qayak’suk

    And I’m also a proud parent of two Special Needs Children this event you allowed to happen at OUR Alaska Native Heritage Center that represents ALL NATIVE TRIBES OF ALASKA is so wrong for OUR children and culture we should never push sexual Explicit things like this towards OUR CHILDREN!!!

    No adult should never push Sexually Explicit thing like this to OUR children except a person that is committing a crime in my opinion I know a lot of people that as kids that were sent to these Catholic boarding schools throughout Alaska and were sexually molested and are still healing from their experiences as children this event will open some large wounds from their passed and will disrupt their healing process and to use a $50.00 dollar gift card is kinda Extreme don’t you think ? we have a large number of Alaska Native people that live in poverty and other ethnic groups of people that share our great state of Alaska.

    This is so wrong in so many ways for our children, and not to mention people that are the heads of this group that are being charged with child pornography including a Judge which is very scary that We The People put our trust into this judge to uphold the laws of OUR nation and he didn’t do that and he’s being charged with seven counts of child pornography.

    I also I’m going to involve my Native Tribe Administrators and board members in this matter for this is extreme and a scary ordeal for us Alaskans.

    Can you ask your self’s what your ancestors and current and passed elders would think about this event ?

    I know from experience that my ancestors and current and passed elders would shame on this event,
    And shame on you all for holding such a event.

    Thank you, and Best regards, Garrett Lieb and my children and I will be praying for you all.

  • Colorado Conservative says:

    Typical of the drag queen to show off his crotch. What these people do in venues with other adults is their business (even then that is gross) but HANDS OFF THE CHILDREN. This is the Alphabet Mafia promoting pedophilia and child molestation.

  • Delice Calcote says:

    Thank you Katrina ~~~ thank you to all that have left their comments… so appreciated to see our peoples, our parents standing up to the LGBTs. So despicable that ANHC and the Feds are promoting the LGBTs….

  • Leigh says:

    Thank you, Katrina, for taking a stand and stepping out in faith …… being bold and courageous……. our children need protection…… all of our children…….. and tolerance has run rampant; destroying family and cultural heritage. Stand firm and do not back down. Deceitful ideaologies confuse children…… you were born for such a time as this …… and it is good to see others joining the rallying call to protect vulnerable children, demanding a honorable board amd screening process. Two questions…….where were the parents at this event and is their a process to curtail a program that is indecent? The old vaudeville hook Needs to be re- instituted! Again, Katrina great “Call to arms!”

  • Winnie SC says:

    These people are pedophiles, pure and simple. They need to be horse-whipped all the way to the insane asylum.

  • J Douglas says:

    Children should be off limits especially without their parents being involved. Let culture be established for the heritage and then let the children grow up knowing and understanding their families, traditions and communities, then when they are old enough, they can make their choices from there. It gives them time to pause and consider whether or not they really want any permanence. People are trying to rush them simply for numbers. And like being rushed to buy something being hyped under pressure sales, the buyers thinking they got what they wanted often have buyer’s remorse. Many feeling like they were suckered. But sales were awesome, right?

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