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Alaska is from an Aleut word, "alaxsxaq," meaning "great land" or "that which the sea breaks against".

Native American affairs in Alaska were supervised by the Office of Education, Alaska Division, until 1931. In that year, the Office of Indian Affairs (soon to become the Bureau of Indian Affairs) took over the responsibilities of overseeing the relationship between Alaskan natives and the federal government.

To learn how to get started with American Indian research, find research facilities, and American Indian websites click here.


Contents

Tribes and Bands of Alaska

The following list of American Indians who have lived in Alaska has been compiled from Hodge's Handbook of American Indians...[1] and from Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America[2]. Some may simply be variant spellings for the same tribe.

Ahtena, Aleut, Alutiiq,Athapascan, Dihai-Kutchin, Eskimo, Haida, Han, Ingalik, Inuit, Inupiat, Koyukon, Kutchin, Nabesna, Niska, Natsit-Kutchin, Tanaina, Tenana, Tennuth-Kutchin, Tlingit, Tranjik-Kutchin, Tsimshian, Unangan, Vunta-Kutchin, Yup'ik

US Department of the Interior Indian Affairs Alaska Region - Tribes Served

Agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affair

Agencies and subagencies were created as administrative offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. Their purpose was (and is) to manage Indian affairs with the tribes, to enforce policies, and to assist in maintaining the peace. The names and location of these agencies may have changed, but their purpose remained basically the same. Many of the records of genealogical value were created by these offices.

The following list of agencies that have operated or now exist in Alaska has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs...[3], Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians[4], and others.

Family History Library

for a complete list of records search the FamilySearch Catalog by Tribe and Locality (state and county)

FamilySearch Catalog Alaska Native Races

Indian Schools

The Office of Indian Affairs (now the Bureau of Indian Affairs) established a network of schools throughout the United States, beginning with Carlisle Indian School, established in 1879. Some of these schools were day schools, usually focusing on Indian children of a single tribe or reservation. Some were boarding schools which served Indian children from a number of tribes and reservations.

In addition, other groups such as various church denominations established schools specifically focusing on American Indian children. (read more...)

The following list of Indian Schools in Alaska has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs...[5], Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians[6], and others.

  • Mount Edgecombe Boarding School  1941-1983 (records National Archives at Seattle)
  • Wrangell Institute 1956-1975 (records National Archives at Seattle)

Many school records are included in the agency records.

In 1950, an estimated 2950 Alaska Native students attended the territorial schools. Another 4200 Native students attended one of the approximately 100 community day schools provided and manned by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Finally, government-run boarding schools accounted for nearly 1000 more Native students in elementary and high school grades. Perhaps 2000 school-age Native children attended no school.

Juneau Agency school records 1927-1952. United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs, FHL films 1030793 (1st of nine)

  • Mt. Edgcumbe, near Sitka, a high school age boarding school.
  • White Mountain, 90 miles east of Nome, another high school age boarding school.
  • Wrangell Institute, in southeast Alaska,an elementary age boarding school, with about 200 pupils.

Reservations

From the mid-1800s, the official policy of the United States government toward the American Indian was to confine each tribe to a specific parcel of land called a reservation. Agencies were established on or near each reservation. A government representative, usually called an agent (or superintendent) was assigned to each agency. Their duties included maintaining the peace, making payments to the Native Americans based on the stipulations of the treaties with each tribe, and providing a means of communication between the native population and the federal government.

Sometimes, a single agency had jurisdiction over more than one reservation. And sometimes, if the tribal population and land area required it, an agency may have included sub-agencies.

The boundaries of reservations, over time, have changed. Usually, that means the reservations have been reduced in size. Sometimes, especially during the later policy of "termination," the official status of reservations was ended altogether.

The following list of reservations has been compiled from the National Atlas of the United States of America[7], the Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America[8], and other sources. Those reservations named in bold are current federally-recognized reservations, with their associated agency and tribe(s). Others have historically been associated with the state or are not currently recognized by the federal government.

  • Annette Island Reservation; Federal, under the jurisdiction of Metlakatla Field Office, Tribes: Tsimposhian
  • Craig Reservation: State, under the jurisdiction of Prince of Wales Island, Tribe: Tlingit
  • Hoonah Reservation: State, under the jurisdiction of Chicagof Island, Tribe: Tlingit
  • Hydaburg Reservation: State, under the jurisdiction of Prince of Wales Island, Tribe: Haida
  • Kake Reservation: State, under the jurisdiction of Kupreanof Island, Tribe: Tlingit
  • Klawock Reservation: State, under the jurisdiction of Prince of Wales Island, Tribe: Tlingit

Reservation Map - Alaska-Indian Reservations - Federal Lands and Indian Reservations. by the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.

Major Research Facilities for American Indian Research

National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is responsible for the preservation of the records of historical importance created by federal offices in the United States of America, including those of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessor, the Office of Indian Affairs. (Read more...)

Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Many of the Regional Archives have collected records of the federal offices in their region, including those of the field jurisdictions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Some of the field jurisdictions are the superintendencies, agencies, schools, factories and area offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The Pacific Alaska Regional Archives (NARA) in Seattle has jurisdiction for the preservation of the records of federal offices in Idaho, including those of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

(Read more...)

See also:

Alaska - Church for missions

Alaska_History for a calendar of events

Alaska - Military for a list of forts

References

  1. Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.:Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907. Available online.
  2. Swanton John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #145 Available online.
  3. Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. FHL book 970.1 H551o
  4. Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. FHL book 970.1 H551g
  5. Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. FHL book 970.1 H551o
  6. Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. FHL book 970.1 H551g
  7. National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
  8. Isaacs. Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E, Indian Reservations. Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991.

Bibliography

  • "Accompanying Pamphlet for Microcopy 1011", National Archives Microfilm Publications, Appendix.
  • American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
  • Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
  • Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974.
  • Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.:Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907. Available online.
  • Isaacs. Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E, Indian Reservations. Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991.
  • National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
  • Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online
  • Swanton John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #145 Available online.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 9 September 2014, at 13:42.
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