INDIANS (Historic Information)
From Sitka, north and westward, Russian influences have not died out, the Greek cross marks the school or mission and cemetery, and the priest is the most influential factor among the natives.
While the results of Russia missionary work are good, it by no means is equal to the results of the Protestant churches and schools. Particularly is this true with regard to the cleanliness, industry and moral habits of the convert or student.
All up and down the coast the high Indian regard for the Presbyterian school at Sitka may be heard. It is the high goal to which many and Indian youth aspires, and, next to Carlisle, is the most lofty aspiration.
It is a sort of post-graduate institution for those receiving a little schooling elsewhere.
The Government is now installing industrial schools at Nushagak, Kanakanak, Alsik, Chogiung, Quinhagak, Tagic, Tanana, Tatitleka, Fort Yukon, Circle City and Eagle, but the Presbyterians at Sitka have been using this method for years, both for boys and girls. I examined a lot of their work last year. The most important consisted of the building of a parsonage from the ground to the top in and outside such as would be creditable in any city, and boats of excellent construction. I see that they are capable of building a new college for themselves, and need it. I think the church or some philanthropic person should advance the money for the material and put them to work at it.
The tuition is normal, the instructions are good in the lower grades, the Christian environments are uplifting, and the students appear so clean, polite and different from those of same age found elsewhere, that they do not seem to be of the same race.
The Russians have a large school in Sitka also, and many other places in Alaska. So that now almost every considerable Indian settlement has a Russian, Government, Episcopalian, Presbyterian mission or other school of some kind.