Skip to main Content

We deserve basic protections

  • Author: Vivian Korthuis
    | Opinion
  • Updated: December 24, 2019
  • Published December 24, 2019

Tribal members and delegates to the Association of Village Council Presidents convention are seen on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center in Bethel. (Lisa Demer / Alaska Dispatch News)

The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica spent the year reporting on a public safety crisis in rural Alaska. Amid the coverage, U.S. Attorney General William Barr declared the problems to be a national emergency.

What comes next? We asked Alaska public officials, law enforcement and village residents for their specific suggestions for improving public safety. Read all the responses here. More will be added in coming days.

• • •

The Alaska criminal justice and law enforcement system must work for all Alaskans. Right now, it’s not working for rural Alaska. It’s failing. For the state of Alaska to provide public safety to all Alaskans, there must be adequate resources, infrastructure, training and personnel in every community.

The state must partner with tribes and tribal organizations because we know what will work in our communities and regions.

Our communities, families and individuals living in our villages deserve the basic protections afforded to others in the state of the Alaska.

Vivian Korthuis is CEO of the Association of Village Council Presidents.

The views expressed here are the writer’s and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at) Send submissions shorter than 200 words to or click here to submit via any web browser. Read our full guidelines for letters and commentaries here.