Alaska School Districts 1909 US Geological Survey

District boundaries, proposed schools, and current existing schools.

Alaska at this time is considered the District of Alaska and it has been divided into three areas that will be used by the Superintendent of Education to identify regional needs.

Region A- Southeastern

Region B- Southwestern

Region C-Northern

Region C has a correlation with reindeer herds and schools because the reindeer herds provide both revenue and food for the mission schools. In 1906 there was a government investigation that reveals that the Scandinavians and missions owned most of the herds. This brought about changes so ownership went to Native owner/herders, making them able to receive revenues from their herds.

Missionaries from the continental US were united in the philosophy that mission schools are needed to “kill the Indian, save the child”. There was never any intention to reunite children with their parents. Once children reached a certain age they were then sent to boarding schools in Oregon and Oklahoma.

Even though Congress had appropriated money for education in Alaska there was a huge shortfall, and this is where missions filled in for the lack of funding. This allowed church influences to drive education philosophy in Alaska for decades. During this time federal money was provided directly to multi-denominational  groups to set up mission schools in Alaska, this funding combined with what the missions provided allowed mission schools to be built throughout the Territory.

Russian Orthodoxy had a policy of accommodation while the Protestants had a policy of forced acculturation and they set up their schools accordingly.