Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The bill that formally protects the cemetery at Funter Bay on Admiralty Island was sponsored by Juneau Representative Sara Hannan but she gives the credit to Martin Stepetin.
Unangan people from the Pribilof Islands were placed in internment camps in Southeast Alaska, including at Funter Bay, during World War II including both sets of Martin's grandparents. Many died and were buried there.
Stepetin thanked Governor Dunleavy for signing the bill last week and Representative Hannan for her hard work through the legislative process.
"It's a piece of human history because I like to say that we as a people, as a nation, as a state, we are still capable of these atrocities and this can happen again and is happening again at different levels throughout the country, throughout other countries," Stepetin said and added, "That is why we have to remember this so that we don't ever allow it to happen to us again as a people."
The law officially protects 250 acres of land on Admiralty Island by adding it to the Funter Bay Marine Park.