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Thirty years later: A study of the long-term effect of Alaska's boarding schools
on Alaska Natives and their communities

Interview Questionnaire

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you go elementary school?

2) Where did you attend high school? What years?

3) How did you end up there?

a. Probe for choice of schools/placed there/parent involvement
b. Were you happy with this choice? was there another school you wanted to attend?
c. How did you get to and from school?

4) Tell me about your experience in this school?

a. Did you like it?
b. What did you think about the quality of the education overall?
c. What kinds of courses did you take? Did you have a major?

i. academic versus vocational courses

d. Were there discussions about your future after high school?

i. What kinds of things? College? Jobs? Training?

e. Did you study any Alaska Native literature?

f. Alaska Native language?

g. Alaska Native history?

h. Was there any discussion of Alaska Native traditions? Subsistence activities?

5) Were there things you didn't learn in school that you wish you had?

6) Tell us about the other kids in your school.

a. Do you think the experiences of others in your school were similar to yours? Why or why not?
b. What kinds of friendships did you develop at the school? Are you still in touch with other students?

7) How was your relationship with the teachers? Other staff at the school?

a. Tell us about a favorite teacher (what did you like about him/her?)
b. Was there one that you especially did not like? (what didn't you like?)

8) Did you have any Alaska Native teachers? Were there Alaska Natives on the staff at the school?

a. Probe for whether Alaska Natives were teachers or in other roles in the school

9) Were there other adults that helped you get through school?

a. If yes, who were they, and in what ways did they help you?

10) I'd like to ask you a bit about the experience of being away from your family and home community.

a. How was it being away from home during the school year?

i. Probe for homesick versus not too difficult…

b. Were there others from your community or village at your school?

11) Were you able to go home at holidays? Over the summer? Did your family visit you at all during the year?

12) Did you graduate?

If yes, did you go on to college?
If yes, probe more about how that was…
If no, were you encouraged to go to college?

13) Looking back, overall, what did you think of your high school(s)?

14) Do you think, if you were given the choice, you would have chosen to attend this school?

a. Why or why not?
b. Would you have recommended it your friends or family?

15) After school, did you return to your home community?

a. If yes, how was that?
b. Probe for reintegrating into the community and family.
c. If no, where did you go? Why?

16) If you have children, did you send them to boarding school?

a. Why/why not?

17) How do you think attending (this) school has affected you?

a. Probes if needed, more opportunities than if you had a school in your home village?

18) How do you think attending boarding school affected your relationship with parents? Friends? Other members of community?

19) How do you see your boarding school experience affecting your life today?

20) Is there anything else we should know about your experience in school? Are there questions we didn't ask that you think we should?