Preserve the monument to Alexander Baranof, founder of Sitka, Alaska

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Alexander Baranof was the first Russian governor of Alaska and the founder of Sitka.

The monument to him is situated in the historical center of the city, which until 1867 was named Novo-Arkhangelsk and served as the headquarters of the Russian-American Company and the designated capital of Russian America.

Under Baranof's leadership, over 200 settlements were built, including crucial infrastructure like shipyards, manufactured and agricultural production, and institutions such as public libraries, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. More than 60 churches and a seminary were also constructed under his watch.

Recognizing his many achievements, the U.S. Navy named a vessel after Baranof and in 1942 assigned it to the Alaska State Defense Forces, based at Kodiak.

We oppose a local proposal to have the statue removed and view it as an attempt to erase important pages of Alaska's rich history,  Russian American heritage and cross-cultural engagement.