ALASKA NATIVE TIMELINE
(originally posted on www.nativefederation.org)
pre-contact Inupiat Society: Myth and Reality
1728 Aug 10, Vitus Bering sights St. Lawrence Island and one of the Diomede Islands.
1741 Vitus Bering discovers Europeans don't know about Alaska... July 15, Alexei Chirikof, Bering's assistant, sights mainland Alaska but does not make landing. July 16, Bering sights Mt. St. Elias on Alaskan mainland and goes ashore. Dec. 8, Bering dies and is buried on Bering Island.
1778 Captain James Cook of England explores Arctic Ocean
1784 First white settlement in Alaska on Kodiak Island.
1790 Aleksandr Baranov becomes director of Russian settlement
1799 Czar Paul claims Alaska as Russian possission. Baranov named first Russian governor of Alaska.
1802 Baranov moves his headquarters to Sitka
1818 Russian navy assumes authority in Alaska.
1821 Russian navy bars all foreign ships from Alaskan waters.
1835 United States and England obtain trading privileges in Alaska.
1843 First mission school for the Eskimos was established at Nushagak by Russian-Greek Orthodox Church
1848 Yankee whalers begin commercial whaling in Alaskan waters.
1860 Second Mission School at Kwikpak
1865 Last shot of Civil War fired in Alaskan waters.
1865 1865-67. Surveyors' map route for overland telegraph line through Alaska to Siberia.
1867 The Swedish Evangelical, Moravian, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Congregational, and Roman Catholic Churches established schools throughout Alaska.
1867 The sale of Alaska by Russia to United States - which rightfully belonged to neither. October 18 is now celebrated as "Alaska Day."
1869 First appropriation from Congress for education in the Territory. The funds were never put into use as no agency was found to administer them.
1872 Mining act of 1872, land claims rights
1874 First School in Alaska established by the Russians at Three Saints Bay-Kodiak Island
1878 Salmon-canning industry started.
1880 Gold discovered near Juneau.
1882 The little Tlingit Indian village of Angoon on Kootznahoo Inlet, Admiralty Island has several claims to fame. In 1882 a shaman of this group was accidentally killed in the explosion of a whaling gun. According to Indian usage, a white hostage was taken and indemnity of 200 blankets demanded. Having been apprized of the situation, Capt. Merriman of the Revenue Cutter Corwin steamed in from Sitka, shelled the town and demanded and received a counter-indemnity of 400 blankets. (AFTC)
1884 United States establishes "District of Alaska" as a legal unit. Alaska received its first code of laws.
1884 Funds for education in Alaska appropriated to be distributed among the existing mission schools with Dr. Sheldon Jackson appointed as general agent for education in Alaska the following year.
1885 Dr. Sheldon Jackson appointed as general agent for education in Alaska.
1887 Society of Friends established a school at Kotzebue.
1887 Use of English in Indian Schools
1888 The Board of Education in Alaska was directed to prescribe a course of study for all government schools.
1889 Supplemental Report on Indian Education
1890 First missions established in Alaska north of Bering Strait…
1891 Reindeer herds imported into Alaska.
1894 Subsidizing of mission schools discontinued. Federal Bureau of Education took over most mission schools.
1896 Gold discovered along Klondike River and Bonanza Creek in Yukon Territory.
1897 Klondike gold rush
1898 Richardson Trail blazed from Valdez to Canadian border.
1899 Local communities authorized to set up school boards.
1900 Stampede of gold-seekers to Nome. Railroad from Skagway to White Horse completed.
1902 Gold discovered near Fairbanks.
1902 Local school board established at Nome.
1905 The Nelson Act provided for establishment of schools for white children outside of the incorporated towns.
1906 An Act Authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to allot homesteads to the natives of Alaska.
1906 An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities was passed by the U. S. Congress on June 8, 1906. (34 STAT.L.225) It provides penalties for the removal, defacement, etc. of antiquities on ground controlled by the Federal Government such as the National Parks, Monuments and Forests of Alaska. Fines of $500 and/or 6 months imprisonment are provided. (AFTC)
1908 The first teachers' conference was held in Juneau.
1909 Small seated Buddha-like figurines called Billikens carved of walrus tusk ivory by Eskimos are not actually Eskimo in origin as most people have been led to believe. The figurine was made originally of plaster-of-paris and was patented by one Florence Pritz of Kansas City in 1909. It sat on a throne, around the base of which was the wording, “Billiken, the God of Things as They Ought to be.” The item was immediately popular and sold well at the A.Y.P. Exposition in Seattle in 1909. Then it disappeared from the stateside scene. But someone had brought one to Nome where the King Island and Wales Eskimos were put to carving replicas in ivory, however, without the throne or lettering. They caught on immediately as a northern souvenir and have been made ever since. But the Pullen Museum in Skagway had an original and they may still have it in their present Seattle location
1911 The Alaska School Service developed a tentative course of study for the schools of Alaska.
1912 Alaska Native Brotherhood founded the first modern Alaska Native organization.
1912 Alaska becomes a Territory with its own legislature. Mt. Katmai on Alaskan Penninsula erupts, creating Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.
1913 Alaska legislature gives women the right to vote.
1914 Ben Benson, who as a boy 13 years old, designed Alaska’s flag, was born of an Aleut mother at Chignik in 1914. Upon the death of his mother in 1918, the orphaned boy and his younger brother were sent to the Jesse Lee Home at Unalaska which later moved to Seward.
1915 Congress appropriated funds that allowed the Bureau of Education to build a 25-bed hospital for Alaska Natives at Juneau
1915 July 4, Cornerston laid for Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, later to become University of Alaska.
1917 1917-1919 The first boarding schools established by Catholic, Moravian, and Lutheran Churches. Federal boarding school was established at White Mountain.
1923 Alaska Railroad from Seward to Fairbanks completed.
1924 Indian Citizenship Act grants citizenship to Native Americans, including Alaska Natives, without terminating tribal rights and property.
1924 Law passed to protect Alaska's fish resources.
1925 Alaska Voters' Literacy Act of 1925
1925 Serum Run to Nome, beginning of Iditarod race
1925 The possibility of an epidemic of diphtheria confronted Nome in January 1925 when Dr. Curtis Welch discovered seven cases of diphtheria in the area and no diphtheria antitoxin in town. He immediately issued and published instructions in the Nome Nugget of January 24, 1925. The Nome Nugget of January 31, 1925 reported 22 cases and 5 deaths. 300,000 units of antitoxin were being relayed from Nenana to Nome by dogteam. On February 2, 1925 Gunnar Kaasen arrived with the antitoxin and his leader, Balto, became famous. The dog mushers who composed the relay were Johnny Folger, Nickoli, Dave Corning, Sam Joseph, Harry Pitka, Jackscrew, Victor Annauma, Mires Connigan, Henry Ivanoff, Leonard Seppala, Charles Olson and Gunnar Kaasen. Ed Rohn was expected to make the final dash but Kaasen went through without awakening him. The distance from Nome to Nenana by dogtrail is 658 miles. The quarantine which was established on January 21 was lifted on February 21.
1926 A more formal and permanent course of study for the first eight grades in Alaska.
1926 In October, 1926 the American Legion, Department of Alaska, announced a contest in school grades 7-12 to design a flag for Alaska. Benny Benson’s design was winner in a field of 142 and in May, 1927 The Territorial Legislature made it official. Benny received $1,000 which he spent on his education and an inscribed watch which later he gave to the State Museum.
1926 Boarding school at White Mountain renamed "Industrial School." A policy and programming of industrial training for boarding pupils was initiated.
1930 Federal Bureau of Education field administrative headquarters moved from Seattle, Wash. to Juneau, Alaska.
1931 Control of education among the Natives of Alaska was transferred to the Office of Indian Affairs. Became known as the Alaska Indian Service.
1932 Wrangell Institute Boarding School opened - Alaska Indian Service School.
1936 Indian Reorganization Act is expanded to include Alaska Native governments.
1936 Fourteen persons were killed in a slide that roared down the slopes of Mt. Roberts near the Juneau Cold Storage on Sunday, November 22, 1936 at 7:30 p.m. Up until the slide occurred, the month of November had seen 20.31 inches of rain. Between 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday, the day of the slide, 3.89 inches had fallen. (AFTC)
1938 Chief Anatlahash was a Taku Tlingit Chief of the Raven phratry who moved to Douglas Island when mining commenced there in the 1880’s and died there on October 8, 1918. A monument to his memory, a yellow cedar shaft in a concrete base, was erected on the Douglas Highway near the Douglas city limits by the C.C.C. on June 1, 1938. Jimmy Fox, whose Indian name is Anatlahash is his legal heir. (AFTC)
1942 Mar. 12, Work started on 1,523-mile Alaska Military Highway from Dawson Creek, Canada, to Fairbanks.
1942 Japanese bomb Dutch Harbor and invade Kiska and Attu Islands of the Aleutians.
1942 June 3, Japanese bomb Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island.
1942 Dec. 1, Alaska Military Highway completed.
1945 An Act establishing February 16 as "Elizabeth Peratrovich Day"
1945 Alaska passes a law ending legal segregation in Alaska.
1945 Alaska Indian Service changed to Alaska Native Service.
1946 Alaska votes to apply for statehood.
1947 Mt. Edgecumbe, a former military installation is opened as a boarding school for Alaska Natives, operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
1948 Covenant restrictions for property in a sub-division of Anchorage
1948 The Venetie and Arctic Village Reservation is formed, the largest in Alaska.
1950 Johnson O'Malley Act provides for the transfer of schools in Alaska to the administrative control of the Territory.
1953 White Mountain Boarding School closed.
1953 1953 Warranty Deed for Anchorage property
1955 Education specialists placed in district Offices to improve consultant services to teachers.
1956 The constitution of the State of Alaska was agreed upon by the Delegates of the People of Alaska in Convention at the University of Alaska, College, Alaska, on February 5, 1956. It was approved by the voters in April, 1956.
1957 First edition of "We Teach in Alaska" issued to provide a manual for BIA teachers in Alaska's remote schools.
1958 First area-wide in-service training program for Principal-Teachers emphasizing community relations and development of Native leadership.
1959 Alaska Statehood Act includes provision to not take lands of Native peoples.
1960 First secondary level program in a BIA day school established with opening of 9th grade at Unalakleet.
1960 The 1960 Census of Alaska showed a total population of the largest state with the least people as 226,167. This was slightly above the wartime high of 225,986 in 1943 which included armed forces then stationed throughout the Territory. The 1950 census gave 128,643 as the civilian population compared to 193,475 in 1960. The 1960 census breaks down as follows: Total Population: 226,167 Civilian Population: 193,475 Caucasian: 141,854 Eskimo-Aleut: 28,637 Indian: 14,444 Negro: 6,771 Japanese: 818 Filipino: 814 Chinese: 137 (AFTC)
1961 Alaska Natives organize to protest "Project Chariot" - a plan to use nuclear weapons to blast an artificial harbor into existence in Northwest Alaska.
1962 The Tundra Times established, the first state wide newspaper devoted to representing the views and issues of Alaska Natives.
1962 Supplemental nutrition program changed to provide complete school lunch. Agreement that education is a State and local responsibility.
1963 Governor's Committee issues first report entitled "An Overall Education Plan for Rural Alaska" as a basis for cooperative relationship of BIA and State of Alaska.
1964 Area-wide workshop for primary teachers with emphasis on teaching English to children as a second language.
1966 Alaska Federation of Natives formed in Anchorage, Alaska.
1966 William E. Beltz School opens as first State-operated regional boarding high school. Teacher aides provided in BIA day schools. Special education program introduced at Hooper Bay.
1967 Area-wide workshop for all education personnel emphasizing the linguistic method in teaching English as a Second language.
1967 Advisory School Boards established.
1968 Kindergarten program initiated.
1969 Educational Television available in Barrow Day School. School Boards contract for instruction in cultural and linguistic heritage.
1970 Bilingual education inaugurated at primary level. Full high school program at Kotzebue Community School.
1971 AV Clip Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act becomes law.
1971 Mt. Edgecumbe - Wrangell Parent School Board established. Bureau's first pre-school programs for 2- and 3-year-olds. Administration of program funding at Agency level established.
1972 The Marine Mammal Protection Act becomes law with the important provision that Alaska Native would be able to continue traditional use of marine mammals.
1976 The so-called "Molly Hootch" (Tobeluk vs. Lind) case is settled with the commitment by the state to provide local schools for Alaska Native communities as it had in predominately white communities in the state.
1976 Rural Education Attendance Areas are created for rural Alaska - modeled in many respects on the urban school districts in state with the allowance of local school boards to set many policies in their schools.
1977 Inupiaq Education discussion continues
1980 The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act becomes law creating over 80 millions acres of additional parks, preserves and monuments in Alaska. It also contains language supporting continued traditional and customary use on designated Federal lands.
1981 Bilingual Conference in Anchorage
1984 Stephen E. Cotton re-caps Molly Hootch Case and Native education programs
1984 Berger Launches ANCSA Hearings
1991 Amendments to ANCSA take affect