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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide
 

ALASKA NATIVE EDUCATION
1953 – 1973
A PROFESSIONAL MEMOIR

BY
TOM (THOMAS) R. HOPKINS
© 2008

INVOLVEMENT IN ALASKAN NATIVE EDUCATION AFTER MT. EDGECUMBE

In 1985 University of Alaska, Fairbanks, researcher Judith S. Kleinfeld et al., (1985) researched small Alaska rural high schools, and offered (page 8) a paragraph on Mt. Edgecumbe.

But even if the state did reopen the school, could the Mt. Edgecumbe of the 1980’s recapture the success of the Mt. Edgecumbe of the 1950’s? The Mt. Edgecumbe that Native leaders remember was an excellent school boasting a rich curriculum, a variety of interesting extracurricular activities, and high achievement levels. Chosen to attend for their intellectual promise, the 700-member student body produced a generation of Native leaders. The boarding school environment fostered the personal ties that later served to link together Native leaders from the various regions of Alaska. These networks, forged in the dormitories, classrooms, and gymnasium at Mt. Edgecumbe, helped create the unity that made the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act possible.

In fact, the Selective Era existed only from 1958 – 1966. There was a kind of “ Selecting” of students before the BIA began paying transportation in 1957, but this would have been only in the sense that those students of parents who could pay transportation costs were “selected”. As discussed above, beginning in 1958, “selection” was based on grades, test scores, and the recorded good behavior, of applicants to Mt. Edgecumbe. By 1964, Chemawa Indian School, located in Salem, Oregon, began admitting Alaskan Native students and the selection criteria of Mt. Edgecumbe students began changing. However, the researcher noted, in Table 8 on page 43, giving test scores for the Selective Era, 1963, and the Open Admissions Era, 1974 is informative and accurate.

When Bill Jackson and I set the School’s selective entrance standards of good grades, test scores in reading of grade equivalency 7.0 or better, and no major social problems, we hoped we would be educating thereby some of Alaska’s future Native leaders. We were instructed by BIA Central Office to admit students on an “Open Enrollment”, first-come-first-serve basis. We simple ignored this Washington instruction, and have thought our having done so has repaid everyone amply.

I was subsequently promoted from the Mt. Edgecumbe position to the position of “ Education Specialist, Secondary.” At that time the Washington Office of the BIA maintained a Field Technical Unit located at the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah. I joined the staff of the Field Technical Unit, which had technical jurisdiction throughout the total BIA Education Program. I was the only Secondary Specialist at the Washington Office level all others Specialists being Elementary or Vocational. I left Mt. Edgecumbe in late November, 1963, beginning my work at Field Tech, January 1, 1964.

Mt. Edgecumbe Evaluations

Soon after arriving at Mt. Edgecumbe in the summer of 1958 I was handed a copy of a 1956 evaluation report of the school (USBIA, 1956). I have recently reviewed the report and found it interesting for what it said, which was essentially that everything was going along ok at the school. The report had the following sections which were evaluated using a total of 55 Standards:

• Administration, 20 Standards
• Instruction, 13 Standards
• Practical Nursing, no Standards
• Guidance, 8 Standards
• Dormitories, 14 standards

I found that the actual situation on many of the standards was almost the opposite of what the evaluation reported stated. For example:

  • The school had implemented a “Two Direction” curriculum, Vocational and College Prep. Not so, the Vocational curriculum was actually expanding and the College Prep program did not exist. The Academic Department which would serve as the foundation for the College Prep Program was dysfunctional.
  • The Student Bank was audited annually and the only problem was that it was not being managed by students with faculty oversight. Actually, a Federal Auditor found embezzlement of the funds by the Administrative Clerk with sign-off by the Superintendent and the entire Administration was replaced.
  • The report did find that the cost of student transportation that families paid was a major problem with the lack of continuance of students through to graduation. This was changed by 1958.
  • The report said the school was accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. I learned that if the school was accredited, it could have been so only through falsification of some of the requirements, i.e. teacher certification by the Territory-State. I was told that the previous Administrators for a number of reasons were not certified.

Actually, the good parts of the Report were over-shadowed by the several glaring, glossing over of major problem areas. The evaluation was conducted by BIA Washington Office Education Specialists, which was the way such evaluations were conducted when I joined the Washington Office in January of 1964.

After leaving Mt. Edgecumbe, sometime in 1964 or 1965, Field Tech received a call from the Juneau Area Office requesting a program review of Mt. Edgecumbe. I was never sure why the evaluation was needed as this was not made clear to the Evaluation Team. At that time the BIA Official heading up the Evaluation Team was a former primary teacher with little or no technical training in education evaluation. The procedure was haphazard at best. The Evaluation Team consisted of three Washington level Specialists and one Specialist from the Area Office. I assigned myself to visit the academic classes; I was assigned by the Team Leader to review the Counseling organization. I wrote narrative reports of the classroom visits.

My report on the Counseling group was a critical one, to say the least. In my time at Mt. Edgecumbe, the Counselors were assigned their students by grade levels. The Counselors’ offices were located in the dormitories, i.e. close to their assigned students’ living quarters. When I visited the school in 1964 or 65, the Counselors had been moved to a suite sited away from the dormitories. It seemed to me that the counselors were now accorded full-time pay for cushy, paper-work jobs which I so stated. When I asked the counselors for copies of their regularly scheduled meetings with students, they said they had none, but that their doors was always open to the students. I asked, “What if no student show up?” The answer was, “Oh, enough show up to make things worthwhile.” Since there thus seemed to be no obvious demonstration of a program reflecting a systematic way of the Counselors getting to know and help students, I recommended that the Counselors be moved back to the dormitories where the students were living; where they would at least be available to the students at all times. I later learned this was not done.

Rebuilding Mt. Edgecumbe

During my last year at Mt. Edgecumbe we spent a lot of time discussing, and, organizing our ideas about the rebuilding the facility. I was not very impressed with the school facilities official detailed to Mt. Edgecumbe to investigate rebuilding needs. He did not offer any helpful ideas, and in fact, seemed to be asking the staff, technically, to design the new facility. I thought this an impossibility. We might be able to offer to him general ideas about areas a new facility should reflect with regards to education needs, but not concerning building, technical specifications, which he seemed to imply it was our job to do. The personal pomposity he exhibited, to a laughable extent, cast a kind of comical cloud over the planning process.

The facility at Mt. Edgecumbe had not been constructed to be a school. At one time in its past, it was a coaling station for ocean steamers. One warehouse still emitted coal dust as one walked across its floor. The boys’ vocational shops occupied one former seaplane hangar; the gymnasium and five academic classrooms were the other old seaplane hangar. Both hangars were glass-enclosed; the mending of breakage was a near fulltime task for our maintenance people. The boys’ dormitory, a wooden structure, was a former barracks for enlisted soldiers. The girls’ gymnasium/auditorium, originally intended as a gym, with a bowling alley in the basement, contained two academic classrooms. The main administration/academic classroom building, made of reinforced concrete would have survived a bombing but would have been very difficult to modify. Though I am not sure, I think the girls’ dormitory originally had been used for offices. The dining hall had been a dining hall for military personnel. I found it was difficult to think of “rebuilding”/replacing Mt. Edgecumbe School with anything but a completely new school facility. Eventually, the rebuilding was approved, and was in the budget, I think, 1967.

In 1967, Charles Zellers became Assistant Commissioner for Education for the BIA. He was a non-educator, a Harvard MBA. No doubt, Zellers was well-educated and a very intelligent man, but he was limited by his cultural background, the upper middle class, Eastern U.S. Having been born and having grown up in Pennsylvania, he had not experienced the culturally different firsthand nor had he made them his particular study or interest. Soon after his arrival he began visiting various BIA Area Offices. He was invited to Alaska,, officials there scheduled him to Bethel during the spring break-up of the Kuskokwim River. He also visited Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau and Sitka-Mt. Edgecumbe.

At the time (1968), I had been promoted once again, and was working and living in the Washington, D.C. urban area. I was excited about Zeller’s visit to Alaska, and soon after his return, I visited his office, asking him for his impressions. He looked at me dourly, “How can people live like that. Their living conditions were little better than those of dogs and pigs.” He appeared to have been merely disgusted by his observations, and to have no interest in improving conditions, educationally or otherwise.

Zellers visited Sitka-Mt. Edgecumbe and observed in a staff meeting that he saw no reason to rebuild Mt. Edgecumbe. The old military installation was not worth any such expense. He said he had talked with Sitka’s Tlingit community and they agreed that Mt. Edgecumbe should not be rebuilt. In later years, in discussions with Sitka Tlingit friends, I was never able to find anyone who had talked to Zellers, and all to whom I spoke were dumbfounded when I mentioned this discussion with Zellers. Knowing Zellers, as I came to do, I suspect that he probably had a discussion with someone, but attached more importance to it than it deserved. And, having already made up his mind, he probably interpreted any discussion he did have with any Sitka Tlingit to suit his own pre-conceptions.

Zellers was an expert in dealing with Congressional Committees and moved to convince all that the rebuilding Mt. Edgecumbe was not needed or wanted. He was successful in this venture. In my opinion, his decision was not based on anything but his personal aversion to his experiences in Alaska. Since he was very effective in Government procedures and encounters and management, he was able to quash the rebuilding of Mt. Edgecumbe.

First Cross-Cultural Circumpolar Education Conference

One of the advantages of working at the BIA Washington Office level was the opportunity to attend national and international education conferences. Certainly, one of the most important ones to me was “The First International Conference on Cross-Cultural Education in the Circumpolar Nations.” Frank Darnell (1972) of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, provided the necessary leadership to make the conference possible. At the BIA Education Washington Office, Madison Coombs and I, had some experience of living in Alaska and working in Alaskan Native Education. We both encouraged Zellers and others to attend the conference. I was fortunate to have had a paper of mine entitled, “The Federal Government as Agent of Cross-Cultural Education in Alaska,” included in the published papers.

More importantly I was able to observe the evidence exhibited by other governments reflective of Bilingual Education: Curriculum materials written in indigenous languages; the various writing systems (orthographies) were impressive. I remembered Fred Ipalook’s teaching me some Barrow Eskimo in 1953, using the writing system developed by Christian missionaries, and I wondered how many more of these existed in Alaska.

Bilingual Education Initiatives

At that time, English as a Second Language (ESL) was beginning to be formalized as a professional area of Education and higher education. I had attended the first “Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)” organizational conference at the Ramada Inn in Tucson in 1964. And the BIA, Navajo Area, had been helpful in establishing TESOL by paying the organization to conduct a 1,000-teacher workshop at Fort Wingate High School located near Gallup, New Mexico. In discussions with Dr. Jim Alatas of Georgetown University, the first TESOL Executive Officer, I discovered another facet of TESOL, Bilingual Education, instruction in both English and the home language of the student. I was fortunate, indeed, to become a member of TESOL’s first Executive Committee.

Consequently, while observing the bilingual texts at the Circumpolar Conference, I began to think how I might implement Bilingual Education within the BIA. I was aware of the BIA’s progressive language activities during the 1930’s and early 1940’s. Linguists and anthropologists had been hired by the BIA; they had produced a few orthographies for previously unwritten languages. But, now, 1969, Bilingual Education might be a new possibility.

Immediately upon returning to Washington I discussed with Zellers the possibility of making available about $20,000 to be used to initiate Bilingual Education in Alaska. The second initiative I discussed with him was the developing of an “Add-on” request to the BIA Education budget to be considered by the Congress. Zellers agreed to both the Alaska bilingual initiative and to the Budget Add-on. I had a lot to learn about the budget process, and about justifying Bilingual Education as an effective pedagogical approach to Indian education.

Madison Coombs was also working in the BIA Washington Office. He was now my immediate supervisor. Because of his extensive background in evaluation and in the production of a major evaluation publication, the BIA considered Madison to be their expert on Education. When Congress began to consider Bilingual Education, it was Madison who worked directly with Committee staffers to provide to the relevant staffers voluminous material on BIA education, most of which was focused on monolingual, English As A Second Language. To begin with, Madison did not realize that English As A Second Language education was not the same as Bilingual Education. His assumption was: Teaching English As A Second Language in a two-language setting meant “ Bilingual Education.” After taking notice of what had been done, which, to me, went directly to prove our critics’ point that BIA didn’t have a good understanding of Bilingual Education, I explained the important difference to Madison. He became very quiet saying, “But look at all we have done.” I agreed that BIA had done extensive ESL work, some of it quite good as well as anticipatory of modern TESOL instruction; but that, nonetheless, ESL was not Bilingual Education.

My immediate concern was the Add-on to the Interior Department, BIA budget. I did a brief review of the literature and wrote the Add-on justification. I approached the Add-on with considerable naiveté, assuming the excitement about Bilingual Education, which I was experiencing, would be the same throughout the BIA, Interior, the Administration, the Congressional pathways, ultimately leading to the necessary approval. First, I was asked to justify the Add-on to the BIA budget officials. Zellers said he didn’t feel qualified to speak on Bilingual Education. I was successful with BIA officials, even though some expressed skepticism about teaching Indian languages when the great need was for English proficiency. Some of the BIA skeptics were Indians.

Next came the Department of Interior; I was asked to meet with Knute Edwards of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). At this time, organizationally, the BIA was under the BLM. The Add-on had to clear BIA, BLM and Interior before going to the next level of the Administration. This was a unique experience, this meeting with Edwards, he, a highly skilled super-grade Civil Servant, with a background in land management, as an agronomist. As he and I met to discuss the Add-on, he reminded me that it was necessary for him to understand the Add-on so that he could help with its presentation. When I tried to explain it to him, he replied that he found it unusual that some of the Indian people still spoke their own languages. I assured him that, based on my personal village experience in Alaska, this was indeed the case. Further, that there were large numbers of Indian language speakers among the Navajos and Choctaws, to name two other such American Indian groups. It was soon clear to both of us that he could not “carry the ball” on the Bilingual Education Add-on.

The next hurdle was the Administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Remember, going through this process was new to me, and those above me had simply deferred to me as to the Add-on. I was instructed to meet with the Budget Examiner of OMB who turned out to be a recent Harvard Business School graduate. I estimate his age to have been in the mid-to-upper twenties. He was a number cruncher and had no substantive experience in Education, not to mention in Indian Education. He was simply interested in the numbers in the Budget. He questioned me and said, “Why haven’t the tribes mentioned Bilingual Education in the Band Analysis?” The Band Analysis was a budget process which the BIA created to involve Tribes in working with the budgets given to them by the BIA. Basically, the Tribes were handed the total amount requested for them and asked if they wanted to make changes. The Band Analysis did not provide the Tribes with an opportunity to ask for new monies. So, I answered the Budget Examiner, “The Band Analysis is a conservative process and does not allow Tribal consideration of new and innovative program initiatives.” He said nothing and I was dismissed. The Add-on did not get past the OMB Budget Examiner. My Add-on experience was instructive, if ineffective.

Alaska Bilingual Education Initiative

I was allocated $20,000 to help begin Bilingual Education in Alaska. I called Warren Tiffany, a long-time colleague, who was then Assistant Area Director for Education, in the BIA Juneau Area Office. Warren had attended the Circumpolar Conference and also had observed there what other nations were doing in Bilingual Education. I told Warren that my staff could help in developing a program for a Conference; that I could offer the Juneau Area Office an extra $20,000 to help with the Conference, and to implement the program. He agreed, ultimately spending quite a bit more than this of Juneau Area funds on the initiating of the program. Warren also allocated much more than the $20,000 from his Area budget to the school, Akiachak.

The Conference was held on November 18-20, 1969, at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Personally, I had not kept of copy of the Conference Report but Dr. Thomas Alton of the Alaska Native Language Center forwarded a copy of the report to me. The Alaska Native Language Center has done much to help bilingual programs in Alaska. Charles E. Perry (1969), an Education Specialist at the Juneau Area Office, compiled the report. Three leading researchers who made significant contributions to the Conference: Madison Coombs, thoroughly knowledgeable as to Native Education; Dr. Theodore Anderson who was completing a total U.S. survey of Bilingual Education, and Irene Reed, a linguist in the Yuk Eskimo dialect. Warren Tiffany provided an overview of the purposes of the Conference. I provided a brief sketch of the history of Alaskan Native Education.

Warren had selected the village school of Akiachak, located in the BIA Bethel Agency, for the primary Bilingual Education effort. Walter Featherly was its Principal Teacher. Warren and I had several informal discussions with him about Bilingual Education. Featherly was skeptical about teaching in the Eskimo language, but, he agreed, he would be willing to take on the initial Bilingual Education experiment in Alaska. The various officials at the Conference i.e. Rod MacGregor of Quebec, the Eskimo Language Project, and Dr. Albar Pen´a of the U.S. Office of Education, helped to influence Mr. Featherly in a positive direction. I was told that, ultimately, he became an enthusiastic supporter of Bilingual Education.

At an informal meeting during the Conference between Tiffany, Featherly and I, Irene Reed, the Yuk linguist, told us she had developed a new orthography for the Yuk dialect which she felt to be more precise than the older missionary-developed orthography. By 1969, having had quite a lot of experience in English as a Second Language Education, I had learned that researchers had found that English could be understood even if “imprecisely” pronounced. In other words, absolute precision in language was not necessary in language instruction. A few older community people in Akiachak could write the missionary-developed language. I recommended to Warren and Featherly that they use the missionary orthography since it was more than sufficient for instructional purposes, and, very importantly, some community members were already literate in this system. My recommendation was not accepted, and Reed’s more precise orthography was used; the utilization and school participation of older literate community members was thereby limited, as I predicted, or so Warren later communicated to me.

I have included Madison Coombs’s paper as Appendix D as he did a good job of covering the field of Bilingual Education, and of relating it to the larger one of Indian Education. In 1969 Madison was approaching retirement and was devoting his efforts to general issues rather than to the management of a Government program. Irene Reed was a solid, important contributor to the Conference and, to Bilingual Education programs for Alaska Natives. I remember her as a self-made, first-rate linguist, and as a selfless person.

It is my understanding that the current Bilingual Programs in Alaska had their beginning with the 1969 Conference.

Other Assignments

Beginning in 1964 I had several assignments and involvements, mostly related to Teaching English as a Second Language, Bilingual Education and Linguistics. One of the most instructive occurred on my first trip to Washington, D.C. from Brigham City, Utah. I was told that the purpose of the trip was to be fulfilled with my introduction to Hildegard Thompson, Chief, of the Branch of Education for BIA. Soon after my arrival I was made aware of a controversy involving Mrs. Thompson and certain Department of Interior officials. Interior was concerned that her leadership was an out-of-date one. To support this opinion they cited the recent publication, A Scientific Approach to Second Language Teaching Including Linguistic Knowledge by Robert Lado of Georgetown University. I had not read the book and was not aware of any new developments regarding ESL instruction. After my having been in Washington for a day or two, one of Mrs. Thompson’s Assistants, Ethelyn Miller, explained to me that Mrs. Thompson’s Office needed to have a comparison made of Mrs. Thompson’s work on the teaching English as a Second Language to Indians and the approach suggested in Lado’s book. I was given Lado’s book along with stacks of unorganized, unbound documents Mrs. Thompson had developed soon after she left the Philippines in 1939/1940 to work on the Navajo Reservation. As a new staff member connected to the BIA Washington Office, I was handed an assignment important to the survival of the Chief of the Branch of BIA Education for the U. S., Mrs. Thompson. I was also told that I was expected to have written a “position paper” within the week. I was given a work area, a desk, and told to get to work on the position paper for Mrs. Thompson, but I was given no other direction. I was stunned, and mostly confused about just what was expected of me. I should have been frightened by the assignment, because of its possible “political” implications, but I didn’t have time to be. I had a too much work to do.

I read Lado’s book to discover that he had created seventeen principles of ESL pedagogy. Using the seventeen principles as a guide, I waded through the stack of Thompson documents. Actually, it turned out that Thompson had anticipated most of the seventeen principles. Utilizing Lado’s seventeen principles in a logical way, I scored Thompson’s documents on a 5-point scale. I completed the paper, edited it, and gave the draft to Mrs. Thompson. After reading it, she invited me to a dinner with some of her colleagues at a downtown up-scale restaurant. Lado’s Principle fifteen stated: “Attitude Toward Target Culture; Impart an attitude of sympathy or identification with the target culture.” I interpreted this to mean an attitude of sympathy or identification toward Indian cultures, and rated Thompson’s work as indicated in her documents as “”level one. At the time, I had thought this too high. I had found very little in Thompson’s documents to indicate, even slightly, such an attitude toward Indian cultures. Soon after we sat down to eat, Thompson looked directly at me, complimented me on the position paper, then challenged me on my rating of her work according to Principle Fifteen. I answered that this was what the documents handed me seemed to reflect. We argued back and forth for a while until I realized that Thompson simply would not accept such a low rating on even one of the Lado Principles. She fully intended for me to give her a better one. I subsequently raised the Principle fifteen to “level two” and that passed Thompson’s approval. Before I left Washington, I told Mrs. Thompson I would be making some minor editorial changes in the paper and that I would mail the final copy back in about a week.

In Brigham City I had almost finished editing the paper when my supervisor, Dorothy Hanlon, came to my office with several copies of the Position Paper. Apparently, insofar as she was concerned, the need was so great, Mrs. Thompson went ahead with printing of the Position Paper, making hundreds of copies and distributing them, probably nationwide. As can imagined, I learned several important things from this experience. When you leave a report behind with an important Government Official, always leave it in final form, as you cannot be sure how or when, it will be used. Another lesson: whatever your basic professional findings may be, beware of your supervisor. If you are an academic, working in a college or university, your conclusions may rest on your evidence and academic integrity, at least usually. If you work for Government your position may have to be at least partially modified by you or an official supervisor in authority for reasons of policy or political considerations. I preferred to make the modifications myself (Hopkins, 1964).

I began working on the doctor’s degree in 1968 and some of my course papers became published articles. Three articles were related to my Alaskan experiences. The first: “Secondary Education of Native North Americans,” (Hopkins 1970), was published by the University of Saskatchewan’s The Northian. I was contacted by the co-editor, Jerry Hammersmith; whom I had met at the Montreal Conference. Unfortunately, The Northian did not survive long. It served an excellent purpose reflecting a real need.

Another article was titled, “Language Testing of North American Indians.” (Hopkins, 1968). I was invited to a University of Michigan Linguistics Conference in 1968 and delivered this paper at the Conference. The Conference concerned “Foreign Language Testing,” and, since I had never focused on just language testing, I thought it a good opportunity to do so. It became an interesting topic to me as I could include some materials on Alaska Natives as well as some on Canadian Indians and Eskimos.

The third article was also on the general topic of Teaching English to American Indians. (Hopkins, 1971) I took an historical approach; it too, was a term paper for one of my courses at The George Washington University.

Alaska Native Needs Assessment in Education (Project ANNA)

The last specific Alaskan Native activity I was able to initiate and carry through to fruition was the “Alaska Native Needs Assessment in Education (Project ANNA)” (USBIA 1974). At the time, early 1973, many important activities were moving forward. The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was paramount, and many Mt. Edgecumbe graduates were participating in the process of enactment and implementation. Development of oil in the Arctic, which was connected to the Claims Settlement Act, was getting underway. It appeared to me that Alaskan Native Education was at a crossroads.

When I was working in Washington, D.C., Mt. Edgecumbe graduates who were living in and/or visiting Washington would occasionally visit my office and our home. They kept me informed about various developments in Alaska. In 1971 I was transferred to the Indian Education Resources Center (IERC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Officially, I became Chief, Division of Evaluation and Program Review. As Chief of this Division I had technical jurisdiction throughout the BIA Education System. It seemed to me that it would be helpful to establish a benchmark of education information and provide the information to Alaska decision makers. The Juneau Area Office did not especially share my concern nor did it feel it could benefit from such a needs assessment. I felt that office to be too self-satisfied about the situation there. The Area Office finally agreed to cooperate with ANNA in spite of local misgivings.

I signified four objectives for ANNA:

  1. Identify the education preferences of Alaskan Native Peoples.
  2. Develop a benchmark of education information which reflects current BIA programs.
  3. Develop alternatives and make recommendations about the future role of BIA education in Alaska.
  4. Develop alternatives and make recommendations concerning the future of the two BIA boarding school in Alaska.

In retrospect, I can’t say that ANNA had any great influence on the decisions made after it was published by the BIA in 1974. However, I have seen occasional references to ANNA documents by various others. I still think the overall project produced important data, and that its design was a good one. In my view, Dr. Ray’s “Historical Perspective,” and Dr. Kleinfeld’s “Characteristics of Alaska Native Students,” (Appendix F) remain two important contributions to Alaska Native Education. I have included Dr. Ray’s “ Historical” writing as the Appendix E.

I have a copy of the complete report, and I still enjoy reviewing it occasionaly. One of my favorite activities was to survey the perceptions of Alaskan Native students. I thought them key players in Alaskan Native decisions, and, with the help of the Juneau Area Office, was able to obtain 1,223 survey replies in grades 8 – 12. These were students who attended all the types of schools then operated in Alaska.

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Last modified March 20, 2008