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for the children, yet through misrepresentation and prejudice kept them away from the Government school.
Professor Parker, however, taught a few from time to time in his own sitting-room.
He has now purchased a building at Anvik, on the Yukon River, where he will open a school next September with Rev. Jolin W. Chapman as assistant. Although there are two teachers the Government pays but one salary. This school met with
a great loss last winter in the death of Mrs. McDowell, who had accompanied Professor Parker as an assistant.
Bethel.–At this point, 150 miles up the Kuskokwim River from Behring Sea, school was opened on the 8th of September with six pupils—four boys and two girls; of these, three boys were boarding pupils, living in the teacher's family. This number gradually increased until he had an attendance of thirteen. The migratory habits of the people after food, and the custom of the whole family accompanying the man and father, greatly interferes with the attendance on school. The few children who did attend were found to be willing and apt scholars, and made as good progress as could be expected in a strange language. The boys are taught and required to do their own washing, ironing, and cooking. As the children have never been accustomed to any restraint, the school hours have been broken up as much as possible. The school day consists of two hours in the forenoon, two in the afternoon, and one in the evening. Outside of these hours they cut and split wood, wash, iron, cook, and do chores. Good buildings were erected at the expense of the Moravian Church, and the foundations of an industrial training school are being wisely laid. During the last two years there has been a great scarcity of food in the valley of the Kuskokwim, which has interfered with school operations, but it is thought that a sufficient supply can be secured this season, which will enable the teacher to receive all the pupils that shall offer.
There are twenty-two regular villages on the river, with a population of 2,600.
On the coldest day last winter the thermometer recorded 44° below zero as over against 50° below during the winter of 1885-86. I regret to say that, owing to illness in his family and hemorrhages of the lungs himself, Professor Weicland has been compelled to leave the field and return to Pennsylvania.
The school will be carried on by Mr. and Mrs. John H. Killback, experienced teachers from Kansas. They have been in the work at that place for the past two years, and have made considerable progress in mastering the native language.
Nushagak.-During the summer of 1886, Rev. Frank E. Wolff, of Wisconsin, was sent out by the Moravian Church to erect a teacher's residence and school-house at Nushagak, at the mouth of the Nusbagnk River, Behring Sea. After the erection of the resi. dence, he returned east for the winter. On the 12th 'of May last, accompanied by his family and Miss Mary Huber, he sailed from San Francisco to open a Government school at Nushagak. Miss Huber is a teacher from Pennsylvania, of large experience and great success, who resigned her position in a prominent ladies' seminary in order to enter the Alaska work. At this school, as at the others, the Government pays but one salary,
These three schools, 500 miles from each other, and central to a population of from 10,000 to 12,000 uncivilized natives, should by all means be sustained. They are the entering wedges to the civilization of that whole great region—the beginning of better things. And the trained men and cultivated women who are willing to exile themselves from the world, endure the rigors of an arctic climate, battle continuously with cruel superstitions and Althy customs, and work with a barbarous, degraded, and dirty people, in their zeal to educate, civilize, and lift up the child population and transform them into useful citizens, are worthy of full sympathy, hearty co-operation, and a generous support.
Unga.This is the chief sea-port and village on the Shuragin Islands. School opened on the first day of November, 1886, with Professor and Mrs. John H. Carr, of Washington Territory, teachers.
The only place that could be obtained for the school was a small and uncomfortable room 22 by 9} feet. Into this the children were crowded so closely that they could not leave their seats for recitation. A commodious school-house is a pressing necessity. The progress of the pupils has been as gratifying as it was unexpected. Towards the close of the school year the Russo-Greek Church established a school in this village and sought to draw the children away from the Government school, but without success.
The Russian school, like the majority of their schools in Alaska, is mainly taught in the Russian language, and the studies are largely on the liturgy and catechism of the church. This school met with a great loss in the death of Mrs. Carr on the 15th of June. By her sweet disposition, as well as skill in teaching, she had secured the affections of her pupils to an unusual degree.
Kadiak.—This school was kept in a cooper shop, which was fitted up and kindly tendered to the Government by the Alaska Commercial Company. While it was a generous act on the part of the company, for which the Bureau of Education should render it thanks, yet it is not to the credit of a great Government that it must be dependent on private parties for buildings in which to hold its schools.
A good substantial school building is greatly needed at Kadiak. The pupils manifested a great fondness for and excelled in writing and drawing, but with a few exceptions were dull in arithmetic. In addition to the ordinary day school Professor Roscoe held an evening school for working men who could not attend during the day, and Mrs. Roscoe an afternoon school for married women.
Strenuous efforts were made upon the part of some to discourage the attendance of the children, and a strong prejudice manifested itself against the children being taught English. But notwithstanding the opposition 59 pupils were enrolled during the year.
Over against these discouragements there were some encouraging examples of unusual eagerness to secure the advantages of a good school.
One family, over 80 miles away by sea, reading in a stray copy of a San Francisco paper that a public school was to be established at Kadiak, broke up housekeeping and the mother and two grown daughters moved to Kadiak to attend school, reaching there six months in advance of the teacher.
Another family, consisting of a mother and five children, on their way to school were shipwrecked and lost. There is no doubt that there are many families ready to make great personal sacrifices to secure educational advantages.
Professor Roscoe has made good progress in learning the Russian language, spoken by the pupils of his school. As he becomes more and more proficient in it he will be more and more successful in teaching English.
Afognak.–This school has met the usual difficulties encountered in all the schools among the Alent and Creole population. The people in language, and still more in sympathy and feeling, are Russian. They are taught in some cases to believe that the American occupation is but temporary and that Russia will again come into possession. Many of them look upon the Americans as barbarians and do not wish their children to learn English. In some cases an effort has been made to frighten those who manifested some interest by telling them that as soon as their boys learned English the GoveraDept would draft them into the army and carry them off, no one knew where.
The school at Afognak had the further difficulty that there was no interpreter to be had, as at Kadiak and Unga, or any children of American fathers, as a nucleus for the school. Neither parents nor children have any idea of the necessity of application or the importance of the advantages offered them by the school. Then, the building used for the school (the only one suitable that could be rented in the community) was too far one side to accommodate the people. Notwithstanding these and other hindrances, a good school was maintained and the chi dren that attended with any degree of regularity made good progress. They excel in music, writing, and drawing.
The murder of Mr. B. G. McIntyre, the general agent of the Alaska Commercial Compay at Kadiak, was a great blow to the school. He had great influence among the pople of the islands and had actively interested himself in behalf of the schools.
Prof. James A. Wirth, who has natural gifts in acquiring language, being able to speak several European tongues, is making rapid progress in liarning the Russian, which is the Language of his district.
Tae private building occupied by the school is inconvenient and unsuited for the purD se and a comfortable building should be erected at once in a central location.
Culcool.-Owing to the infrequency of communication (this school being 100 miles from a post office) it was not for some weeks after school should have commenced that I received the resignation of Miss Sarah M. Dickinson as teacher and it was several weeks after her successor was appointed before he could reach the place.
The school was opened in January by Mr. Salomon Ripinsky with a good attendance.
The average continued large until April, when the parents, hiring as packers to the miners going into the interior, took their children away with them. This greatly diminished the attendance during the spring months.
Through the courtesy of Rev. Eugene S. Willard, in charge of the Presbyterian missión, a good building, desks, etc., were furnished the school free.
Juaenu.-Dr. F. F. White, in taking charge of this important school at the commencement of the school year, at once proceeded to systematize and grade it.
The school opened with a good attendance of American and Creole children, the natives being largely away from home preparing their winter supply of food. But as the zatives returned to their homes the attendance of their children steadily increased through the winter until spring, when they were off again for food. As the attendance of the native children increased that of the Americans and Creoles fell off. It was the old story of mixed schools. The appropriation allowed of but one teacher, and conseqnen ily there could be but the one school. In 1885 and 1886 the attendance was largely Creole; in 1886 and 1887 it was largely native.
The advanced classes finished their geography and made satisfactory progress in United States history, physiology and hygiene, and arithmetic, both mental and practical.
It was a notable fact that the first and second chiefs of the Auke tribe were at times daily attendants, and their children among the most regular of the pupils.
Juneau, being the largest and most important settlement in Alaska, should have a good, substantial school building and separate schools for the whites and natives.
Killisnoo.—This school has had to contend in common with the others with irregular attendance.
Professor Johnston speaks approvingly of the eagerness to learn manifested by the Creole pupils.
At the commencement of the school year lumber and material were procured to erect the much needed school-house, but a difficulty arising with regard to the location the erection of the building was delayed until this summer. This is the first school building erected by the Government in Alaska.
Sitka.--The two Government schools at the capital of the Territory are housed in buildings that a thrifty farmer would not consider comfortable enough for his cattle. They also have to contend with irregularity of attendance, especially in the school for patives.
Miss Powell reports the rapid advancement of the Creole pupils and the gratifying progress they are making in learning the English language.
If suitable buildings can be erected this coming fall the usefulness of these schools will be greatly increased.
Fort Wrangell.--This eldest of the schools in southeastern Alaska has had a most successful year.
The school year opened with 45 pupils and steadily increased to 112. It can well be called the polyglot school. Among the pupils were representatives of 13 tribes, Americans, and the following half bloods: French and Stickine, Irish and Stickine, American and Stickine, American and Russian Creole, American and Alaskan Creole, American and Hydah, Scotch and Hanegah, and Norwegian and Taltan.
With regard to the intellectual capacity of the full and half bloods, Miss McAvoy reports that while the half bloods learn more easily, the full bloods master their studies more thoroughly. That while the half bloods are more nimble of brain, the full bloods have quite as much of it. And that the full bloods learn to speak better English than the half bloods. She also reports the great interest her children have taken in the Child's Health Primer and the hygiene for young people.
The school has been kept in a room in the old hospital. The roof leaks, the water pours in around the windows, and the floor of the front porch has rotted away, and partly fallen in. If the school is to be kept in the same place another season the building should be extensively repaired.
Klawak.- This is a new station, the school being established for the first time last winter. The school was first commenced at Tuxikan, where, with commendable heroism, Mr. and Mrs. Currie had volunteered to go. As no white man had ever resided in the village there was no suitable dwelling to be had, and the teacher was compelled to occupy a portion of one of the native houses. This was a plank building about thirtyseven feet square with a rotten bark roof. Through the cracks of the plank floor the surf could be seen at high-tide dashing under the building. The house was constructed after the native fashion, all in one room. Entering the door, steps led down two feet to a plank platform seven and one-half feet wide, which extended around the four sides of the room. From the platform steps descended three feet to the lower floor, which formed a pit twenty-one by twenty-two feet in extent.
In the centre of this pit a space eight feet square had been left unplanked. This was the fire-place. In the roof directly over the fire-place a similar opening had been left for the escape of so much of the smoke as had not previously escaped through the cracks of the sides of the building. Through this same hole in the roof the rain descended in sufficient quantities to put out the fire.
On the platformn opposite the door was a small room fifteen and a half by six and a half feet used as a bed and store room. The hole in the roof was roughly boarded up, and a large box stove placed in the pit, which became the school room.
Posts were erected at each corner of the pit, and sheeting stretched across, curtaining off the platforms on two sides of the building. These platforms thus curtained off became the residence of the teacher. The native with his family of six occupied the other two platforms.
Into this dilapidated and uncomfortable building this cultured family, in their zeal to list up this poor people, moved without a murmur.
In the spring Mr. Currie, with his family, removed to Klawak, renting the only building to be had, an unfinished board shanty erected out of refuse lumber.
Notwithstanding all these discomforts and hindrances he had a very large school, his total enrolment for the whole year being 184. The best work, however, can not be expected until the teacher has a comfortable building in which to house his school.
Howkan.—This school has continued to send in its good monthly reports.
The temporary shanty which for several years past has been used for the school during a heavy snow storm last winter was crushed, and now the school is shelterless.
In some respects the Hydah are considered the best people on the North Pacific Coast, and immediate steps should be taken to erect a school-house suitable for this important Hydah centre.
Tongass.-In southeastern Alaska are the three small villages of Port Tongass, Cape Fox, and Scowls, neither of them with a population sufficient to justify the expense of a school, and yet, if united, would form the constituency of a good school.
To secure such a school the leading men of the three villages have agreed to leave their old settlements and together build a new one.
In the hope that the united village would be located at Loring, Prof. S. A. Saxman, of western Pennsylvania, was sent to that place.
Finding but very few people there (work for the season having closed at the salmon ennery), it was thought advisable that for the winter at least he should teach the school at Tongass.
During the Christmas holidays Professor Saxman, accompanied by Mr. Louis Paul, a native missionary, and another native, started to visit Port Chester, a place that had been mentioned as a suitable location for the new village. The party was lost at sea. When they did not return two search parties were sent out, who found the canoe broken on the rocks. The bodies of the men were never recovered. This sad event closed the school.
It is now more than probable that Port Chester will be settled this summer by a colouy of Christianized and civilized natives from Metlakahtla led by Mr. William Duncan. If this proves to be the case, it will make a centre around which the scattered population can cluster and secure good school facilities. The above schools furnish the following statistics:
In addition to the above, schools have been in operation on each of the seal islands, St. Paul and St. George, supported by the Alaska Commercial Company. The RussoGreek Church has had small schools at Unalashka, Belkofsky, Kadiak, and Sitka. ***
At Judeau there has been a school under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church, and at Sitka an industrial training school under the control of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions, assisted by the Indian Bureau.
Although applied for, I have failed to receive the statistics of the Russian and Roman Catholic schools.
The Sitka Industrial Training School, with its large and commodious buildings and teaching force of 13 persons, is the best equipped school in the Territory.
The two principal industries at present taught the boys are carpentering and blacksmithing. The institution is also furnished with tools for boot and shoe making, and a press and complete outfit for a printing office.
During the present summer the Elliott F. Shepard Industrial Building has been erected, furnishing accommodations for the carpenter shop, wood-carving, boot and shoe room, and printing office. A hospital building has also been erected in connection with the school.
Mr. Edwin Hale Abbott, of Milwaukee, has generously offered to found a department of wood-carving and weaving, in which the native population excel.
The attendance has averaged 100.
As the boys and girls are clothed, fed, lodged, and taught at the institution, they are continuously under the influence of the teachers, and the best results are secured.
The school is under the management of Prof. William A. Kelly, assisted by Rev. Alonzo E. Austin, chaplain; Mrs. A. E. Austin, matron of the Boys' Home; Miss A. R. Kelsey, matron of the Girls' Home; Miss Ida M. Rogers, teacher in the school-room; Mrs. Susan S. Winans, teacher in sewing room; Miss Virginia M. Pakle, teacher in the laundry; Mrs. Charles E. Overend, teacher in the kitchen; Mr. C. E. Overend, teacher in the carpenter shop; and Mr. Joel Liberty, teacher in the blacksmith shop.
During my trip last fall along the coast of southern Alaska to Behring Sea, I procured a complete census of the Aleut, Eskimau, and Creole population from Kadiak to the end of the Aleutian Islands.