The Constitution of the State of Alaska was adopted by Alaska’s only Constitutional Convention on February 5, 1956.
It was ratified by a vote of the people of Alaska on April 24, 1956 and became operational with a Proclamation of Statehood on January 3, 1959. Alaska’s constitution is not the same as the Constitution of the United States of America, as each state also has its own governing document.
Fifty-five Alaskans met for over 75 days in 1955 and 1956 to write Alaska’s founding document before Alaska became a State. These Alaskan’s met at Troth Yeddha’, or the University of Alaska Fairbanks, in what became known as Constitution Hall.
Article 1 Section 1 of our Constitution reads, “This constitution is dedicated to the principles that all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the rewards of their own industry; that all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law; and that all persons have corresponding obligations to the people and to the State.”
The Alaska Constitution currently commits the State to support public education, public health, public welfare, and support for our university system. Since 1959, Alaska’s constitution has been amended twenty-eight times through legislative processes. This November, Alaskans will be asked “Shall there be a constitutional convention?” A yes vote would require Alaska to host a Constitutional Convention, and if citizens vote no, the question will appear again on the ballot in 2032.
Doyon is recommending that voters vote no on a Constitutional Convention, which would call for re-writing of Alaska’s Constitution. We invite you to learn more about the Origins of the 49th State by visiting the University of Alaska website, “Creating Alaska,”
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