"Alaska Native Boarding Schools" Alaska Native Arts & Culture ... ‘Assimilation’ playwright flips the script on Native history. Despite the Wrangell Institute’s history as one of Alaska’s premier Native boarding schools for over 40 years, the site has never received any cultural resource attention. an effort to bolster the economy for Alaska Natives by introducing reindeer herding), cooperative stores, operation of a ship (the North Star) for supplying isolated coastal villages, and the maintenance of an orphanage and three industrial schools. Oslo, Norway: Scandinavian University Press. In 2001 nearly 60% of Alaska Native students continue to attend school in rural and remote communities where K-12 school enrollments range from eight students with one teacher to 500 students with many teachers. To live on this earth: American Indian education. That was the mindset under which the U.S. government forced tens of thousands of Native American children to attend “assimilation” boarding schools in … The discovery of oil and the subsequent passage of the 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. Although more than half of Alaska Native children were enrolled in state public schools, a significant number were still in BIA elementary day schools. Traveling Alaskans discover that people on nearly all continents have some familiarity with the midnight sun, weather extremes, rich oil fields, vast amounts of land, Mt. Urban schools: The three largest cities in Alaska are Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, and their schools now serve nearly 30% of the state's Native American student population. (1996). In these settings most of the school population was Alaska Native because it reflected the population of the villageãnot because of restrictive official or unofficial educational policies. In addition, the Alaska Federation of Natives has sponsored numerous policy and program initiatives of its own to follow through on the Alaska Natives Commission recommendations. Very little has been written about traditional approaches to teaching and learning among Alaska Native people prior to contact. Szasz, M. (1974). National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition's CEO Christine Diindiisi McCleave is on the show to talk about their recent national conference. Life on the other side: Alaska Native teacher education students and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Act also "reaffirmed the continuing legal responsibility of both the federal government and the states to provide education for Indians. Such services are funded primarily through federal programs (e.g. Even today, many misunderstandings about educational policies for Alaska Native people are the result of misinformation about early federal policies and practices that affected schooling in Alaska. Juneau Empire Special Report. 6-7). Alaska's educational history has essentially been one of a gradual movement toward self-determination and local controlãin education, tribal government, and social services. "It is like gospel to us. It is interesting to note that although there was a set-back in federal government support for local control initiatives after WW II, there was legislation passed in the 1950s that did provide additional financial assistance to public schools. To describe the virtual flood of federal activity that occurred after 1965 in the area of American Indian and Alaska Native education, I have organized the major national-level educational initiatives into two categories: federal programs designed for all students, and federal programs designed for indigenous students. Aaron Issaacs attended Mount Edgecumbe Boarding School from 1955 to 1957. As a means of responding to the increasing number of Native American children enrolled in state-funded public schools (as well as providing an incentive for public schools to accept Indian students), 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 (DeJong, 1993; Fuchs & Havighurst, 1972). Fuchs, E., & Havighurst, R. (1972). The commission also was directed to conduct public hearings and to recommend specific actions to Congress and the State of Alaska that might help assure that Alaska Natives have life opportunities comparable to other Americans. Although Alaska Native boarding schools have a complicated and often dark history in the state, Issaacs looks back fondly on his time at Mount Edgecumbe. Several pieces, actually. It was a promise to Native people that you will have the right to continue to use the land you lost to hunt and fish on. Alaska was "essentially carved up" between various church denominations for education and missionary encounter. Therefore, when Alaska did achieve statehood in 1959, the state and federal school systems were still a dual presence in rural Alaska (Barnhardt, 1985). In 1999, there were approximately 8,480 Alaska Native students and 969 American Indian students in these three urban areas (Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, 1999). The Commission's undertaking was jointly funded by the federal government and the State of Alaska. Alaskan Native education: History and adaptation in the new millennium. (1885-1946). These geographical features are often the basis for perceptions of Alaska by "Outsiders," and they have prompted many to describe it as a "land of contrasts" or a "land of extremes.". Law and Alaska Native education: The influence of federal and state legislation upon education of rural Alaska Natives. It repeated "many of the stinging criticisms that had been made in the Meriam Report forty years earlier . The treaties provided the means of negotiating with Indians who controlled land, resources, and trade routes to which newcomers wanted access. It was the first major report to document and bring to the nation's attention the status of Indian conditions, and it was highly critical of American Indian education. Case, D. (1984). I follow the conventional pattern (in Alaska) of using "American Indian" to describe indigenous people in the United States, but outside the state of Alaska (and Hawaii), and in some contexts I use "Native American" when I refer to all indigenous people of the United States. The revitalization of the QARGI, the traditional community house, as an educational unit of the Inupiat community. Indian nations at risk: An educational strategy for action. Some schools were operated directly by the federal government while others, referred to as "contract schools," were contracted to missionary groups including Catholic, Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist, Moravian, Presbyterian, and Swedish-Evangelical (Barnhardt, 1985). The University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system. The practice of sending American Indian and Alaska Native children to boarding schools also enhanced a philosophy of assimilation through segregation (e.g., one of the primary goals of boarding schools was to assimilate American Indian/Alaska Native students into mainstream society by separating them from their communities). The federal Bureau of Education, meanwhile, continued to extend its services to more remote sections of Alaska, and by 1931 it had assumed responsibility for the social welfare and education of most rural Native people. By the early 1900s, the number of non-Native people coming into the Territory of Alaska had increased steadily due to the discovery of gold and the development of commercial fishing and timber industries. Of particular consequence are the federal government's early actions in the negotiation of treaties with American Indian tribes, the establishment of reservations, and the adoption of the Civilization Fund Act. Since Alaska was not purchased until 1867, it was, of course, not involved with original treaty deliberations between the United States colonial government and Indian nations. All students must receive passing scores on a new state high school qualifying exam or they will be denied a diploma; All students must complete new Alaska benchmark tests at the 3rd, 6th and 8th grades, and these may serve as the basis for promotion in some districts; All rural communities and districts must do more in schools with less money and fewer resources; All schools will be placed into one of four performance categories by the year 2002 on the basis of student test scores and drop out rates; Schools in rural areas must provide quality educational experiences while facing a severe teacher shortage and decreasing numbers and percentages of Alaska Native teachers. Prucha, F. P. (1984). 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