Alaska Legislature

Alaska Legislature passes bill to establish October as Filipino American History Month

JUNEAU — The Alaska Legislature passed a bill Friday to establish the month of October as Filipino American History Month.

The bill passed both the House and Senate with no opposition. It heads next to Gov. Mike Dunleavy for final approval.

The measure was introduced by Rep. Genevieve Mina, an Anchorage Democrat who is the second lawmaker of Filipino heritage to serve in the Alaska Legislature. Thelma Buchholdt, an Anchorage Democrat elected in 1974, was the first.

Around 27,000 Filipinos reside in Alaska, making them the largest immigrant community in the state. Filipinos have lived in Alaska since the 18th century.

“We hope that we are uniting Alaska communities that have big significant Filipino populations there, and just to recognize the contributions of our Filipino community in our history,” Mina told a legislative committee earlier in the year.

The Legislature has previously passed bills recognizing Black History Month and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

Filipino American History Month was recognized by Congress in 2009 and has been marked in California and Hawaii.


“My goal is to recognize in state statute the many cultures within our great state,” said Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson, an Anchorage Democrat who carried the legislation in the Senate.

[Alaska Senate advances bill to make Juneteenth a state holiday]

Iris Samuels

Iris Samuels is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News focusing on state politics. She previously covered Montana for The AP and Report for America and wrote for the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at