|Reading "A Teacher in Old Alaska"|
Then I read about the school that Jackson opened for Native children. Parents had to sign a contract giving over their children for 5 years. He also had other methods of forcing children to go to his school. Conditions were slave like, with no mention of play, just chores. Children were punished for speaking their mother language at any time of the day. Two people took Jackson to court in order to retrieve their young relatives. They won and 50% of the children walked away. Hannah's methods were more sugar coated.
Remember that very nice, well-to-do woman who gave me a ride to the main post office so I could mail a parcel to Canada? I peppered her with questions. I described the often deplorable conditions in Canadian residential and missionary schools and asked if something like that had happened in Alaska. She said that Native children received education but the conditions were good.
This week, CBC aired a program that ended with the description of a documentary on residential schools, "We Were Only [Just?] Children". I was surprised to hear that many Canadians do not know about the children's experiences in these schools, especially since the last one was closed in the 1990's.
Have Alaskan Natives not been as vocal as Canadian? Were the Alaskan schools closed earlier than in Canada? Did the Land Claims Settlement in 1971 with Native Alaskans help heal the emotional wounds?
And now I'm remembering the conversation with the taxi driver who drove us back from the grocery store. He is Native and married a Philippina, because most of the Native women in Sitka were drug users. So maybe the legacy of the Native schools, etc is still being felt.