Native Brotherhood Footnotes

1A study of acculturation sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, the Arctic Institute of North America, and the American Philosophical Society (Penrose Fund).

2This agreement seems not to have been observed very strictly by the Russians, although the same provision was included in the final version of the royal charter issued; Kostlitsev remarks, anent the section of the charter prohibiting the traffic, "Nevertheless, every Tlingit . . . has so much liquor that when in 1860 the company steamship went into the Strait, the Tlingits themselves offered for sale rum and vodka" (Senate Doc. 152, 1950, p.65).

3275 according to Petrov (U.S. Senate, compilation, 1900, p.103).

4Father Duncan's Metlakatla Mission Store also carried on a brisk commerce in British-made goods with Alaska, fleets of big canoes taking cargoes as far north as the Chilkat country and Cross Sound—a traffic that helpless land-bound U.S. Customs officials denounced as wholesale smuggling (Senate Doc. 59, 1879, pp.38-39).

5Senate Doc. 71, 1882, pp.34-35. This school was not for Indians, but is mentioned as indicative of Beardslee's genuine interest In civic progress. He started the school by preparing a room for it in one of the Government buildings, taking up a subscription among his officers, nagging local businessmen into giving subscriptions, allocating $20 per month from a contingent fund made available to him by the Secretary of the Navy, and employing as teacher an educated creole woman by hiring her as official interpreter (taking her up on the ship's articles as an Able Seaman).

6Loc. cit. and Secs. 310-324. In 1906, $100,000 was appropriated for native education, and the following year appropriations were increased to $200,000 per year, remaining at that level for some time.

7The only acts Congress passed regarding Alaska were: one establishing a customs district (the entire Territory), with a collector of customs at Sitka and several deputy collectors; extension of sections of the act of 1834 (regulating commerce with Indians), which prohibited sale to Indians of liquor and firearms (interpreted ordinarily in Alaska as meaning breech-loading weapons); and an act approving the leasing of the fur-seal monopoly to the Alaska Commercial Co.; jurisdiction of U.S. District Courts in Oregon and California was extended to Alaska.

8The resolution read, "On behalf of 60,000 American citizens in Alaska who are denied the right of representation in any form, we demand, in mass meeting assembled, that Alaska be annexed to Canada." The Idea was apparently to create a sensation that would produce some action; although there had been some talk of annexation to Canada in the Klondike rush period, after people observed the swift efficient manner in which civil government, law and order, and some measure of self-government were set up in Yukon Territory, it seems that no serious interest in the idea developed until about 1911 (Nichols, 1924, pp.246, 366, and passim).

9They were Ralph Young, Paul Liberty, Frank Price, and Peter Simpson, residents of Sitka (Simpson was actually of Tsimshian ancestry); Frank Mercer and James Watson, of Juneau; Eli Katanook, of Angoon; Jim Johnson of Klawock; and Seward Kuntz and George Fields, whose residences I neglected to record.

10Rev. Edward Marsden, of Metlakatla, for example, may be mentioned as one of the group who affiliated themselves with the Brotherhood in its earliest years.

11None of my informants mentioned the Arctic Brotherhood as a source of inspiration for the Indian organization, but I suspect most strongly that it offered them a model. The Arctic Brotherhood began as a sort of fraternal order of Klondikers. It soon became politically minded, working for Alaskan self-government. In 1909, it had sufficient influence that President Taft accepted an invitation to a special convention in Seattle, at which he was installed as "Honorary Past Grand Arctic Chief"—though In a speech he dismayed the membership by reaffirming his opposition to the organization's goal (Nichols, 1924, pp.329-333). In the year the Alaska Native Brotherhood was formed, the Arctic Brotherhood, along with other organizations of white Alaskans, had won a major victory, the act of 1912, which authorized a Territorial legislature, and thereby a great increase in Alaskans' control of their own affairs. The use of the term "brotherhood," and of such designations as "Grand Camp," "Grand President," etc., in the native organization, duplicating Arctic Brotherhood usage, seems to corroborate the suggestion as to this source of influence.

12A copy of this document is said to be preserved In the Alaskan historical library of the Territorial Museum in Juneau. A previous formal treaty of peace, signed by Sitkan and Wrangell chiefs, at the urging of Commander Beardslee, USN, was made in 1879 (U.S. Navy Dept., Naval Archives, Commanders' Letters, Sept.-Dec. 1879), but seems to have been forgotten.

13This figure Includes the computed cost of labor, based on man-days worked at going rates, although actually labor was provided free by local men.

14In recent years, various grand secretaries have sent, at irregular intervals, circular letters to all the camps relating to specific issues.

15This was all volunteer unpaid labor; time was kept, I was told, to make possible the computation of the value of the hall (and also to put pressure on the slothful?).

16There is no specific lower age limit on membership in the Brotherhood and Sisterhood. Various persons said young men and women were eligible "at about eighteen, when they finish school and begin to work and make money" (for payment of initiation fees, dues, and miscellaneous contributions).

17Jones was not of the direct family line in which this prestigeful title descended, but of a collateral one. He inherited the position on extinction of the direct (matrilineal) line of heirs. He was however highly respected because of his rank, his personality, and his insistence on strict observation of many ancient usages.

18An attempt was made to start a rival organization in Juneau in the 1930's, but it soon came to naught. The initiator was a personal rival of one of the prominent Brotherhood leaders.

19An interesting point here was not mentioned by any Alaskan informant, Tlingit or Tsimshian, but was brought up by certain well-informed Canadian Tsimshian. This was that the Paul brothers more or less froze Marsden out of the organization, or else the latter lost Interest when he had to share his role of best-educated Indian.

20It is my understanding that he had been admitted to practice in the State of Oregon, which, under the law at the time, entitled him to practice in Alaska also.

21Davis v. Sitka School Board, 1908,

22See: In re Minook, 2 Alaska 200 (1904).

23Ch. 24, Laws of Alaska, 1915, p. 52.

24The A.N.B. Grand President and the Grand President of the Sisterhood recommended almost at the last minute a slate of candidates which included all the Indian candidates. This move was not only ineffectual, but was extra-legal, since no quorum of the Executive Committee approved the action, or so I was Informed.

25See the following table:


For Representatives


Total votes cast

For Senator: Peratrovich

Hope (D)

Johnson (R)

Nelson (D)

















































Figures in tabulation show only 3 of the 6 candidates for Representative (6 were to be selected out of 12). The small Indian vote cast is probably due to the A.N.B. schism. In communities like Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, etc., it is impossible to isolate the Indian vote. (Daily Alaska Empire, Oct. 17,1952.)

26Davis v. Sitka School Board, 3 Alaska 481 (1908).

27Jones v. Ellis, 8 Alaska 146 (1929).

28There were small plots set off as "reservations" in the villages, on which the Government schools, teacherages, etc., were built, but these were simply places to put the buildings and do not figure in the attitude toward reservations.

29Reference here is to service in public facilities: Stores, restaurants, hotels, etc. There is still considerable discrimination in employment outside of the fishing industry.

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