Alaska History and Cultures

Timeline created by mcblackwell
In History
  • Alaska purchased by U.S. from Russia

  • Tsar Peter

    Tsar Peter commissioned a naval expedition to explore Pacific waters-wanted to know if Asia and N. America were joined by land
  • Discovery of Bering Strait

    In 1728, Vitus Bering, a Danish explorer, discovered the Bering Strait between Asia and North America.
  • Russian fur trade begins

    Two ships set sail from Siberia. One landed on Kayak island just south of Prince William Sound and then continued on to Kamchatka. Crews brought back pelts (otter)
  • Day Schools

    Federal government established day schools in Alaska villages and a limited number of
    vocational boarding schools.
  • Pursuing Manifest Destiny

    Petroff was chosen to conduct a census of Alaska's population and resources
  • Civilization Fund Act

    With the passage of this act, the federal government established a second legal basis for federal responsibility for schooling for all American Indian/Alaska Native children
  • U.S. buys Alaska

    Sale of Alaska to U.S. in 1867 for 7.2 million
  • Gold discovery

    In 1872 gold was discovered near Sitka.
  • Salmon canneries

    new technique of canning salmon-canneries built on Native fishing grounds
  • Organic Act-beginning of U.S. involvement in AK education

    The Secretary of the Interior was directed to provide education for Children in Alaska without regard to race. Sheldon Jackson was selected as General Agent to oversee opening and operation of schools around the district. Jackson asked churches to support the cause, and named several to each open missions or schools in separate areas. Non-native schools were opened in Sitka, Juneau, and Douglas. The remainder were operated by churches. Jackson was criticized for supporting church schools.
  • Pursuing Manifest Destiny

    Lt. Henry Allen conducts an exploration of inland AK up the Copper River. Called the greatest act of American exploration since Lewis and Clark.
  • Major General Henry Tureman Allen (Explorer)

    Major General Henry Tureman Allen (April 13, 1859 – August 29, 1930) was a senior United States Army officer known for exploring the Copper River in Alaska in 1885 along with the Tanana and Koyukuk rivers by transversing 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of wilderness. His trek has been compared by Nelson A. Miles to that of Lewis and Clark.
  • Tsimshians missionaries in AK

    Tsimshians from British Columbia migrated to AK and founded a new community on Annette Island. American missionaries focused on eradication of native language
  • Native Non-citizens

    Congress allowed whites to begin applying for title to business sites and many Native properties were taken. Natives were not citizens and had no recourse to obtain title to lands
  • Department of Interior Appropriations Act

    Beginning in 1896, Congress showed a growing disposition away from use of denominational schools to educate Indians. In that year the Department of Interior Appropriations Act stated that it was the policy of the government to make no appropriation for Indian education in sectarian schools
  • 1900 Act of Congress

    A 1900 Act of Congress permitted communities having a population of 300 or more to incorporate as towns and to elect their own school boards to assume control of public school boards within them.18 This was in response to non-Native population growth during the gold rush. Many people felt that the federal funds being provided for education were inadequate. The effect of the act was of limited scope because so few communities were large enough to qualify.
  • Nelson Act

    Provided for establishment of schools outside incorporated towns. Governor of
    Legislation creating racially segregated schools in Alaska.
    It provided for the education fo the white children and children of "mixed blood" who lead a civilized life in parts of the territory outside incorporated areas. The Federal Bureau of Education was in charge. Several school systems were funding schools and in operation.
  • Lowest Native Population

    25,331 persons due to disease, poor housing, sanitation
  • Alaska officially dominated a territory by Congress

    In 1912, Alaska was officially denominated a territory by Congress.31 Although the act gave Alaska a legislature, its powers were severely limited, specifically with respect to education.32 As if to spite Congress in protest for its stinginess with legislative powers, the territorial legislature enacted a uniform school act purporting to establish a school system throughout the state to assume education functions for all but Alaska Native
  • Alaska Native Brotherhood

    A group of missionary educated young Tlingit men founded the ANB as a vehicle for achieving citizenship for Natives-sought to eliminate cultural and linguistic practices viewed as uncivilized by whites
  • Act of March 3, 1917

    Congress empowered the territorial legislature "to establish and maintain schools for white and colored children and children of mixed blood who lead a civilized life."Scattered school districts and attenuated responsibilities for education became unified under the territorial government.
  • U.S. Indian Citizenship Act of 1924

    granting full citizenship to natives. Now Indians could hope for equal opportunity with white citizens.
  • Sing vs. Sitka School Board

    In 1926 a part Indian challenged as racially discriminatory an announced policy of admitting no children of Indian blood to the public school in Sitka. Prevailing law at the time found separate schools for children of different races to be constitutionally acceptable so long as they were on an equal plane with those maintained for the white race. No decision was reached.
  • Jones v. Ellis

    It was held that the right of mixed-blood children to attend the territorial schools in Ketchikan was equivalent to that of white children, so that the plaintiff could not be excluded to eliminate overcrowding simply because she was a mixed blood and had the alternative of attending the Indian school.
    The district retained four non-native students who lived outside of district, indicated motive may not be based entirely on racial concerns.
  • Federal Bureau of Ed

    Federal Bureau of Education extends educational services to more remote sections of Alaska and
    by this year assumes responsibility for formal education of most rural Native people.
  • Indian Reorganization Act

    provided for Indian political self-government and economic self-determination by allowing tribes to organize and incorporate. It was the first piece of legislation that addressed, and attempted to counter, the economic destruction that had resulted from treaty negotiations and land allotment policies.
  • The Johnson-O'Malley (JOM) Act

    this Act authorized the Secretary of the Interior (specifically the BIA) to negotiate contracts with state, territorial or local agencies to provide federal funds to help defray expenses incurred for the education of American Indians and Alaska Natives
    the passage of the JOA led to the beginning of negotiations between the Alaska Territorial Department of Education and the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the transfer of federally-operated rural BIA elementary schools to the territory.
  • Native land claim legislation

    congressional legislation was passed that authorized the Tlingit and Haida to pursue land claims.
  • Alaska Reorganization Act

    authorized the creation of reservations on land occupied by Alaska Natives. However, since Alaska Natives were less "tribally oriented" than American Indians in the Lower 48 states, they were granted special permission to establish "village" governments and constitutions, and most groups chose this option
  • Japan Invades

    During World War II in 1942, Japan invades the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska. It would be a year before the American military would re-take the islands.
  • End of Jim Crow in AK

    Discriminatory Jim Crow practices abolished in AK-ending separate but equal practices by businesses
  • Tongass Timber act of 1947

    Secretary of agriculture was authorized to sell timber on any vacant, unappropriated or unpatented land within the forest, and all receipts from such sales would be put in escrow pending final determination of the extent of Indian claims. The bill ignored the question of aboriginal title and left the Indians to sue in court.
  • Public Law 815

    provided federal funds for the construction of schools in areas affected by federal activities (e.g., military bases or Indian reservations).
    intended to provide federal funds to compensate school districts for financial burdens placed on them because they served students whose parents lived on tax-exempt land or students whose parents worked for agencies that did not pay taxes.
  • Public Law 874

    provided money for the operation and maintenance of schools affected by federal activities. This support is known as "Impact Aid" since it aids school districts whose tax support is reduced by the impact of federal government action"
  • Alaska Statehood Act

    authorized admission and gave the new state the right to select 108 million of Ak 375 million acres.
  • creation of the Office of Economic Opportunity

    provided not only Headstart and Community Action Programs (e.g., RuralCAP) in which many Alaska Native people and village governments participated; it also created a model for collaboration between the federal government and local communities.
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act

    represented the first major involvement of the federal government in education for groups of children beyond American Indians and Alaska Natives. It was designed to meet the special needs of children in low-income families, and it included special appropriations to public school districts enrolling American Indian and Alaska Native children. This Act was "the first official recognition of the special needs of the children to whom it applied.
  • State's New Policy Sysem

    One was the Boarding Home Program under which the state compensated private families, on a monthly basis, for providing food and housing for one or more village children who moved in for nine months to attend high school.
    The second new program initiated in 1966 was the establishment of regional schools.TCA recommended establishing six boarding schools with dormitory complexes, each enrolling 650 or more students. based on an explicit goal of destroying the villages.
  • Formation of AFN

    Formation of the Alaska Federation of Natives to pursue land claims with federal government
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968

    included five titles dealing specifically with Native Americans. Several parts of Title VII Bilingual Education legislation had immediate implications for many American Indian and Alaska Native students, as well.
  • Oil Discovery

    In 1968 oil is discovered in Prudhoe Bay and plans begin to build a pipeline to the North Slope to recover it.
  • Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

    provided the State of Alaska with a great deal of money, and provided Native people with power and economic status they had not previously held
    Discovery of oil

    Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) signed into law provided cash settlement of %962 million and 44 million acres to be distributed to 12 regional and 200 village corporations. Struggle over claim to North Slope oil.
  • Indian Education Act

    directed at meeting the needs of American Indians and Alaska Native students in public schools where two-thirds of children were then enrolled. It "provided grants to Indian tribes, institutions, and organizations, or to state and local agencies, to develop and implement projects to improve educational opportunities for Indian children and to establish adult education programs."
  • lawsuit was filed against the State of Alaska

    The class-action suit, charging discriminatory practice on the part of the state, was filed by Alaska Legal Services, on behalf of rural secondary-aged students, for not providing local high school facilities for predominantly Native communities when it did for same-size, predominantly non-Native, communities.
    In the settlement, the state of Alaska agreed that it would establish a high school program in every community in Alaska where there was an elementary school
  • Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act

    intent of providing increased opportunities for local control (i.e., authority for tribes to contract directly with the BIA to conduct or administer all or part of the Indian programs conducted by the federal Department of the Interior).
  • Molly Hooch Case

    In 1976, the case of Tobeluk v. Lind was settled by entry of a detailed consent decree providing for the establishment of a high school program in every one of the 126 villages covered by the litigation, unless people in the village decided against a local program.
    Molly Hooch was one of the original plaintiffs in 1972
    Natives living in rural villages had to go to boarding schools prior to 1976 because there were no high schools. This case changed that.
  • Oceanic Jurisdiction of U.S. extended

    U.S. government extended its oceanic jurisdiction 200 miles offshore-led to new rush for fishery resources previously harvested by Japan and Russia

    Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act establishing a rural subsistence priority on federal lands
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    Alaska History: The Russian Period

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    European Contact with Unangan/Aleut

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    European Contact with Pacific Eskimo

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    Spanish explorers in AK

    Spain sent voyages to explore America's Pacific shore and AK
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    European Contact with Bering Sea Eskimo

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    Russians in Kodiak

    After depleting sea otters in archipelago, Russians moved to Kodiak and shelled the Alutiiq into submission and colonized islands
    Russian orthodox priests arrived and were critical of treatment of natives and some married native women.
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    Lord of Alaska: Alexander Baranov

    Managed Russia's dominant fur trading company
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    Father Loann Veniaminov

    Opened a bilingual school in Alaska in which both Russian and Aleut were taught
    Helped design the Aleut alphabet
    Developed a writing system for Tlingit
    1868 appointed metropolitan of Moscow (highest position in Russian Orthodox Church)
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    European Contact with Interior Indians

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    Sheldon Jackson: Christian Soldier of the Great Land

    Founded a mission at Wrangell 1877
    First Organic Act brought civil government to the last frontier 1884
    Named federal education agent for Alaska in 1885
    Wanted to reduce the clash between whites and natives
    Focused on converting and educating natives and controlling sales of liquor.
    Originally set up integrated schools which later had to be segregated
    English only instruction
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    Yankee Whalers

    Yankee vessels operated off of Kodiak Island, through the Bering Strait, and into Arctic waters. The whalers (new england masters, europeans, Native Americans, and African Americans were relentless hunters
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    European Contact with Northern Eskimo

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    Alaska History: The Early American Era

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    Education in the far North: The Early American Period

    Development of education during the early period of the American presence in Alaska was influenced by three factors: the cultural underpinning of the dominant society which defined the objectives and structure of schooling in general; Presbyterian Church officials, who were the controlling figures in the implementation of early schools; and the slow execution of any government policies across such a vast and inaccessible tract of land.
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    A School in Wrangell

    An army private was upset that there was no school for the Tlingit people near Sitka. He sent his commander a letter. The commanding officer sent the letter to Sheldon Jackson, who supervised the Home Missions of the Territories in Denver, Colorado. Sheldon Jackson sent Amanda McFarland, a Presbyterian missionary, arrived at Wrangell in 1877 to open a mission and school. The next year it became a girls school, and records show that it was open until 1889.
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    Presbyterian Mission School opened by John G. Brody--becomes first Sitka Industrial Training School, Secondary Schools began to open to Natives in 1906.

    The Mission School was opened by John G. Brody in 1878. In 1884, it became the first Sitka Industrial Training School, offering carpentry, machine work and carving. later, courses for girls were added, such as sewing, mending, cooking washing, ironing and cleaning. As late as 1905, the Sitka School, Roman Catholic Mission of the Holy Cross and a school at the Tsimshiah reserve at Metlakatla were the only training schools open to Natives.
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    St. Lawrence Eskimos Starvation

    Starvation of 1,500 St. Lawrence Island Eskimos reducing the population by 75%. Destruction of whales and walrus by Yankees and bad weather.
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    Education in the far North: The Russian Period

    a primary goal of education from the point of view of the Russian-American Company was to benefit itself by providing schooling that would support company middle management and clerical skills.
    efforts to start the first school, were primarily inspired by the need to demonstrate to the empress and the head of the Church that the organizers were worthy of being granted a monopoly in the fur trade and to better equip the Natives to work for the company.
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    Alaska History: The Gold Rush

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    Klondike gold rush

    The Klondike Gold Rush occurred in 1897-1900, bringing over 100,000 prospectors who would attempt to travel north and seek their fortunes.
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    Alaska History: The Territorial Period

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    Education in the far North: Alaska as a territory of the U.S.

    The legislation of 1905 that gave birth to a dual system of education failed to provide for local control sufficient to meet the demands of a growing non-Native population. Responding to this condition, Congress extended territorial status to Alaska
    The Alaska Territorial Legislature proceeded to establish a Territorial Department of Education, responsible for all education in Alaska other than for schools in the federal system for Native students.
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    White population Increase

    White pop in AK increased from 40,000-94,000 because of WW2
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    Mt. Edgecumbe Boarding School

    In 1947, a single consolidated boarding school was established by the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the former naval air station in Sitka, and Mt. Edgecumbe has remained a fixture in the boarding program ever since. Although located in the Southeast Panhandle, hundreds of miles from most of the state’s Eskimo and Indian villages, Mt. Edgecumbe was from 1947 to 1965 the only tax-supported high school available to native children from small villages
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    Alaska History: Alaska Since Statehood

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    Education in the far North: Alaska from statehood to the present

    There were two reports on rural education, one from the Office of the Governor of Alaska and one from the federal Department of Interior. Each expressed the need to consolidate the federal and state school systems and to change the overall purposes of education so as to make them more consistent with the needs of the Native population. For the first time in history, the state Department of Education declared the need for special provisions to accommodate extraordinary conditions in rural Alaska.
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    Rural Schools Struggles

    Alaska State legislature attempted to attend to the chaos in Alaska's rural schools by making the Alaska State-Operated School System an independent agency with responsibility for rural schools. However, pressure for more local control from Alaska Native people brought legislative action again in 1975 that abolished this system and in its place set up a new form of "extraordinary units of government"
    Twenty-one separate rural school districts were established
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    Tribal Sovereignty

    Concerns of natives over land loss, culture, governance stimulated sovereignty efforts. Goal was to establish Native governments with jurisdiction over traditional lands, resources, and tribal members.