ERIC Number: ED242465
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Conflicting Visions in Alaskan Education. Occasional Paper No. 3.
Dauenhauer, Richard L.
The fundamental conflict in the intellectual history of Alaskan education originated in the work of Father John Veniaminov (1797-1879) and Sheldon Jackson (1834-1909), both visionaries and missionaries to Alaska, both educators and founders of schools. The major distinction between them was in their radically differing attitudes toward religion and culture in general, and toward Alaska Native language and culture in particular. Father Veniaminov (later Archbishop Innocent and Saint Innocent) placed tremendous value on education and Native language literacy in the Russian Orthodox missionary effort in Alaska, encouraged Native-born clergy and founded bilingual schools. Sheldon Jackson arrived in Wrangell in 1877, when things were far from genteel; his method was basically the establishment of mission schools as "Protestant Forts" to protect Natives. Jackson came to believe that only through massive acculturation could the Natives be Christianized and therefore spared the military havoc of Native Americans in the lower 48 states. Thus the basic conflict in Alaskan education was and is between those who insist on a link between Christianity and American language and culture, and the influence of Father Veniaminov, who rejected the idea that Christianity is linked to a specific language and culture. A 6-page update concludes the document and calls attention to additional relevant works that in some cases will require eventual minor changes in the text. (MH)
Descriptors: Acculturation, Alaska Natives, American Indian Education, Bilingual Education Programs, Cultural Influences, Cultural Pluralism, Culture Conflict, Educational History, Educational Philosophy, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Stereotypes, Ethnocentrism, Native Language Instruction, Outcomes of Education, Religious Education, State History, United States History
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alaska Univ., Fairbanks. Center for Cross-Cultural Studies.
Identifiers: Alaska; Aleut (Tribe); Jackson (Sheldon); Missionaries; Tlingit (Tribe); Veniaminov (John)
Note: The document concludes with a 6-page update written on March 19, 1982.