Log In | Contact Us| View Cart (0)
Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators Record Groups

Amy Hallingstad Documents Collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Contact us about this collection

Amy Hallingstad Documents Collection, 1973-1990 | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

By Zachary R. Jones, Archivist

Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Amy Hallingstad Documents Collection, 1973-1990Add to your cart.

ID: MS/036

Primary Creator: Hallingstad, Amy (1901-1973)

Extent: 1.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 09/12/2010

Subjects: Alaska Native Sisterhood--History., Tlingit Indians--History.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains clippings, reminiscences, and an unpublished biographical article about Alaska Native civil rights advocate Amy Hallingstad (1901-1973). The clippings consist of obituaries and an article about her civil rights efforts, and the reminiscences are biographical in nature and authored by the daughter of Amy Hallingstad, Mary Antonson. The unpublished biographical article is five pages long and provides additional detail on Amy Hallingstad’s life and efforts. 

The collection contains information on the civil rights movement in Southeast Alaska during the 1930s to the 1950s, and the role of the Alaska Native Sisterhood under Amy Hallingstad’s leadership as Grand President.

Biographical Note

Amy Booth Hallingstad (1901-1973) was born in Haines, Alaska, the daughter of Frank Booth Sr. (1889-1964) and Sally Jackson (1885-1943). Amy was 4/4 Tlingit Indian and of the Eagle Moiety, Tsaagweidí Clan. She is often remembered as a civil rights activist and leader in the Alaska Native Sisterhood, and was referred to by some as the First Lady for the First People.

In Amy’s youth she moved to Sitka to attend the Sheldon Jackson College, and then moved to Petersburg, Alaska. During the 1920s in Petersburg Amy married Norwegian-born Casper Hallingstad Sr. (1901-1980) and they later had six children together; daughters Mary, Gloria, and Gertrude (1932-1990), and sons Casper, Jonas, and Leonard. At Petersburg Amy and her husband worked as commercial fishermen and raised cattle.

During the early 1930s, as Amy’s children began to attend school in Petersburg, Amy became angry that the Native children in Petersburg were forced to attend a segregated school. Since Alaska Natives had to pay taxes that went toward the public school system, Amy was able to force the closure of the Native school in Petersburg and soon Alaska Native children were able to attend the public school in Petersburg. During this time Amy became very active in the Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS), serving in various leadership roles within the Petersburg ANS Camp 16, and later serving as Grand President from 1947-49 and 1953-56. She was a supporter of the lands claim movement as early as 1937.

During this time Amy also made it a practice to forcedly remove signs from businesses in Southeast Alaska that contained discriminatory language, such as “No Natives Allowed.” Amy was also an organizer of boycotts against businesses that discriminated against Alaska Natives, or preferred to hire non-Natives. Newspaper articles speak of her efforts of enforcing a boycott of the Petersburg movie theater, which had segregated seating. The boycott continued until the segregated seating practice was eliminated.

As Grand President of ANS she also made strong efforts to pressure businesses, such as canneries, that sought to employ non-Natives to change their policies and hire locally. She influenced reforms that were enacted at canneries in Hood Bay, Excursion Inlet, Pillar Bay, and Chatham. She fought to improve medical care to Alaska Natives. She also regularly corresponded and met with state politicians about the important political issues of the day. With her contemporary, the celebrated Elizabeth Peratrovich, they both worked towards ensuring civil rights were guaranteed to Alaska Natives.

Remaining in Petersburg her whole life, Amy raised a family, served her community, and sought to improve conditions in Alaska for all people. She passed away in Petersburg at age 72 on April 8, 1973.


Obituary, Petersburg Press, 12 and 19 April 1973.

Lori Thomson, “Two Women with One Mission: Elizabeth Peratrovich and Amy Hallingstad Remember in Fight for Natives’ Rights,” Petersburg Press, undated clipping in collection.


Materials in manuscript collection.

Subject/Index Terms

Alaska Native Sisterhood--History.
Tlingit Indians--History.

Administrative Information

Repository: Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Acquisition Source: Mary Antonson

Acquisition Method: The material in the collection was donated to SHI on 9/12/2010 by Mary Antonson, the daughter of Amy Hallingstad.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Article about Amy Hallingstad; by Sylvia Lythgoe, entitled “The First Lady of the First People,” undated, five pages.Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Two written statements about Amy Hallingstad by her daughter Mary Antonson. One statement is entitled “In Remembrance of Mom, Amy Hallingstad,” undated, two pages. The second is a letter of reply to a Ms. Szabo discussing who Amy Hallingstad was, undated, two pages.Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Newspaper clippings on Amy Hallingstad, including obituaries and the undated article; Lori Thomson, “Two Women with One Mission: Elizabeth Peratrovich and Amy Hallingstad Remember in Fight for Natives’ Rights,” Petersburg Press, undated.Add to your cart.

Page Generated in: 12.577 seconds (using 193 queries).
Using 7.3MB of memory. (Peak of 7.46MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-1
Copyright ©2012 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign