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few minutes was wonderful, too wonderful to believe until they proved it in their native fashion. An organ was sent this year, and every morning for 20 minutes we had singing. The reason for having it first was that it brought all the children to school in time, as they did not wish to miss any of the music. “Long, Long Ago" and “Old Black Joe" vied with each other in popularity, and had to be sung each morning. The lighter and faster pieces, such as “Dixie,” were liked by a few, but most of them preferred the slower and rather melancholy type of song. Thanksgiving Day is a regular town reunion. Families who have been out all summer and part of the fall return in time for the day. The women busy themselves in the morning cooking and the men in preparing the tables in the church or Salvation Army hall. Everyone is invited who happens to be in town. A special table is set for the white people, at which knives, forks, and spoons are provided; the others are supposed to bring their own. This they do, and after the meal is done they fill the flour sacks which they have brought with the fragments of the meal. It was about this time that Mr. Hoover's appeal to save food reached us, with Food Administration cards. After a canvass of the village and explaining the purpose of these cards, there was not a home which did not agree to the conditions, and it was a little amusing in some cases to see a Food Administration card next to a totam in the window of the same house. The day before Thanksgiving snow fell, and it was not until the last day of April that we saw the ground again. It is during this period that the natives have their parties and get-together meetings; the rest of the year they are scattered. Natives do things by seasons; they eat clams at only certain times of the year; they attend church during the winter, give parties in certain months, and so on. Music seems to appeal to them in winter, and they have maintained a brass band for years. This winter an orchestra was started, which was very creditable. The teacher started a men's glee club; some of the natives have very good voices. At Christmas the town decided to have a tree, as usual. Heretofore there has always been some feeling that someone was “left out"; so this year. to avoid that, the teacher took a careful census of every man, woman, and child in the village. A meeting was held in one of the houses; it was dragging and evidently only the usual $75 or $80 was going to be raised. So the teacher decided to stir things up, which he did by a vigorous speech and as large a contribution as he could afford. As soon as the interpreter made them understand what the teacher had said they responded splendidly, and in a few minutes we had piled on the table $354. Previously $97 was the high-water mark, of which $40 was given by the whites. We had a great Christmas; the tree was brought into town on the shoulders of the young fellows, followed by the band, with the rest of the town forming a procession and taking it to church. Then it was put up, the tree decorated, and loaded with presents. The committee bought chiefly useful presents, such as shirts, ties, handkerchiefs, socks, stockings, dress goods, and a few toys, apples, nuts, oranges, and candies. We have no destitute in the village, but there are a few who find it hard to make ends meet, and these were especially remembered with presents. Everyone agreed it was the best Christmas they had ever had. No ill feeling was to be seen anywhere, and it was truly, “Peace on earth and good will to men’’ in our little town. Very few of the natives went out to trap this winter, as they had done well at fishing the previous summer. But the last of February found a number of
them going out to get piles. Over $10,000 in piles was contracted for by the Kake natives. This meant a great deal to them, as it meant new engines and better boats and new boats. There are but very few families who do not have a power boat of some kind, ranging in value from $100 to $3,000. There are several men who are exceedingly skillful in building boats. One of them, Edmund Ketchtiyet, who had ordered lumber from Seattle to build a 50-foot boat, found that he could only get a little of what he wanted. No imaterial for the ribs or bow or stern was sent. He shouldered his axe and went into the woods, and at nightfall he had found a tree with the proper curve for the bow and two for the stern. For ribs he chose some good yellow cedar and split it by hand. Few white men would have had the patience to do what that Indian did. It was in the last part of February that the teacher took charge of the Red Cross work. Up to this time there were only 16 members, and of these only one or two were natives. As the people were leaving rapidly, something had to be done, and so a mass meeting was held with a patriotic program. An effort was made to make the natives understand just what the Red Cross is endeavoring to do. On the third night following this a meeting was held at the schoolhouse, $135 was raised and 50 new members were added. Enough interest was aroused by this time so that another meeting was called a little later and an organization perfected as an auxiliary to the Juneau chapter. Yarn was sent for and knitting classes started, with the result that many pairs of socks have already been sent to Juneau. We were a bit handicapped in getting money, as the women had just taken in $320 at a basket social, which they are going to spend for civic improvements, but they gave $25 of it to the Red Cross. The younger men also sent $11.50 for a baseball fund to the boys at the front. Late in December the teacher invited the town council to supper at the schoolhouse. It was the first time in the history of the town that its representatives had ever eaten at the Government teacher's table. It was only after six dozen biscuits, gallons of soup, and other edibles had been consumed that they lost their formality and a very pleasant evening was spent with the 12 council members. Village improvements and the natives' welfare were discussed and games were played. Several years ago a few of the men started a store, but it was not under the supervision of the teacher, and as it had no regular storekeeper it soon fell behind. At the beginning of this year the teacher got these men together and suggested that they straighten up the business. The books were gone over and accounts cleaned up, and the collections made seemed quite encouraging. Then an inventory was taken, more stock was sold, and the store continued its business. At a stockholder's meeting held the last of February a 3 per cent dividend was declared. This shows that with a very little help they can make a very creditable showing in business. During the winter when the weather was so bad that it was impossible to do anything but stay indoors, the young fellows began to hang around a poolroom that was opened this year, and many of them began to use tobacco and gamble. The teacher said nothing, but ordered several games, such as pingpong, Mrs. Wiggins, flinch, dominoes, etc., gathered together a number of magazines and books, and asked the boys to come up and spend the evenings. A few came and they told the others, and soon it took three of us to keep things going, for the house was full. The teacher believes that this was the greatest good done. It was impossible to have them oftener than once a week. A room for games and reading should be open each night for them, with p" rhting and heating facilities. 120347°–19—5
The work among the women was carried on principally through the woman's organization. The teacher's wife showed many who took interest in the work how to cut out patterns and loaned many to them. In school the girls were taught the rudiments of sewing, making handerkerchiefs, aprons, etc. The sewing machine sent this year is much appreciated; more than 100 garments have been made with its help. The natives are buying their own machines now and many homes have them. Instruction in manual training for the boys was impossible, as the school does not boast enough usable tools. Perhaps it is just as well, for the boys receive much practical training in helping their fathers build boats and houses. If it were possible to give them a complete course it would be different, but a mere smattering is a waste of time under the conditions here. In place of actual manual training, book work was given, showing the more advanced ones how to lay out plans, read drawings, figure dimensions, etc., and I have seen good results in actual work. In the spring, with the natives coming and going, it was very hard to do any more Red Cross work, but we held a basket social during the week devoted to the Red Cross drive, at which we took in $226; $61.75 was added in contributions, and later in the week $217 was collected at the cannery, making the total for Red Cross week $504.75. In the meantime the membership has been swelling slowly, and now we have 125 members. The teacher and missionary were appointed to sell War Saving certificates and to date have sold $2,625. None of the first or second Liberty bonds were brought here, but $350 worth was taken in the third. Counting all the various patriotic enterprises undertaken by our little town, something over $3,61625 has been given or subscribed. This amount, in proportion to the population, would put to shame many a large city. At one of our mass meetings a letter was sent to President Wilson, assuring him of our loyal support. Several weeks later an acknowledgement came; the natives appreciated very much being recognized by the highest official of our Nation.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC SCHOOL AT SITKA, IN SOUTHEASTERN ALASKA.
By MRs. ELIZABETH P. BRADY, Teacher.
School work.-Great stress has been laid upon the study of local geography. Every house in the village has been located upon an outline map. This was followed by a map of the town of Sitka, which resulted in a study of interdependence, comparison of surroundings, and emphasized needed improvements. English is now much better understood and spoken much more correctly. Stories are reproduced in a lighter way and with pleasure. Questions are asked that show an eagerness for broadening information. Kipling's “Just So Stories,” parts of “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Red Cross Stories" have been enjoyed. Stories of Greek mythology have brought out some Thlingit myths. In arithmetic, problem work has improved, all work is done more neatly, and drill work has become more rapid and accurate. In reading, understanding of the text has improved, and this results in bet ter expression. Dramatization has been a great factor in this. study of hygiene has given immediate results in personal cleanliness and better habits. The latest gain was the appearance of pocket combs after les. sons on care of the hair and danger of disease from use of a common comb.
Spelling has become interesting, and dictionary work was taken up in the third and fourth grades, with the following contribution from an 11-year-old boy. He set aside a page in his blank book for words beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Nature study has been stimulated by contribution of material by the pupils. There has been little weather suitable for outdoor games. Folk dances and games have been used indoors. Baskets were put up in one of the schoolrooms, and basket ball was played at the noon hour and after School. A folding pool table loaned by one of the pupils for two weeks was set up in the other schoolroom. We need a pavilion fitted with playground apparatus, where the children may play in the fresh air and yet be protected from rain and snow. The children have been greatly interested in the history and authors of some of our patriotic songs. They have learned America, the Star Spangled Banner, Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean, Loyalty, Over There, and the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The negro plantation melodies find a responsive chord in the hearts of these school children. Industrial work.-For all the industrial classes an effort was made to formulate courses that could be worked out with the present equipment and result in the most practical benefit in the homes. Notebooks were kept by the pupils in which were recorded the steps taken. In cooking, yeast white bread, rye, rolled-oat bread, corn bread, rice bread, ginger cookies, rolled-oat cookies, war-time cake, puffed-rice candy, cranberry jam, gooseberry conserve, cocoa, and tea were made. Practical applications of the housekeeping lessons were made in the care of the school kitchen, sewing room, and classrooms. Most of the lessons in cooking were given at the home of the teacher, for the ovell at the schoolhouse is not dependable. Agriculture has been largely theoretical. A few potatoes were left in the school garden, and these were dug in October. Seeds were distributed, preparation of soils and ways of planting were studied, but school closed before planting time. Health.-There has been no epidemic, but there were several very painful illnesses and nine deaths. Miss Gibson's visit was timely, for she was here to attend to several critical cases. During her treatment of those cases it was realized most fully that a small hospital was needed in this village. The people appreciate what the Bureau of Education is doing in its medical work and they wish to cooperate. As soon as something definite regarding cost of building, equipment, and plans is placed before them they will act upon this matter. Community work.-There has been an effort to extend the usefulness of the school as much as possible. Much house-to-house visiting has been done. A trained nurse who was visiting in Sitka kindly consented to talk to the mothers on the care of babies. She emphasized the need of cleanliness, care of eyes, ears, nose, throat, and teeth, and of regular and properly prepared meals. Parents have not taken kindly to industrial work. They wanted their children taught what is in books. To overcome this the mothers were invited to the schoolhouse, and while refreshments prepared by the girls were being served the plans for sewing, cooking, and woodwork were outlined. The conservation-of-food campaign that was held in the autumn, the school was able to fill a need in the village. The problem of using substitutes and getting satisfactory results was a serious one. The women were invited to come to the schoolhouse. The making of war breads and cakes was demonstrated; receipts and directions were distributed.
The school has endeavored to foster patriotism. On Alaska Day an evenin: meeting was held. Patriotic songs were sung. The relation of Alaska to the world struggle was the theme of the talk by the mayor of the town. At this meeting was aroused the interest in bonds, which the natives bought so freely. Junior Red Cross.-A Junior Red Cross was organized in the school. The pupils elected officers from their own number and had their first experience in condcting meetings. They made two layettes, both boys and girls doing the Sewing. Red Cross, War Savings, Bonds.-The native people responded well when they were asked to organize a Red Cross auxiliary, 148 becoming members; of these 28 subscribed for the Red Cross Magazine. From membership fees and entertainments they raised $480. When a request came from Juneau for moccasins, the women gathered in the sewing room of the schoolhouse and made them. The natives have been generous contributors whenever a Red Cross call has been presented to them. During the drive $100 was the result of houseto-house visits in the native village. No one was ungracious to the collectors. They gave a dance which netted over $100, and they spent their money freely at the carnival which closed the week's drive. They have pledged $50 per month to the fund while they are engaged in the summer fishing, which takes many of them away from the town. Two thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars worth of bonds have been purchased. One is owned by a pupil of the school; two have War Savings certificates; and 17 Thrift Stamps have been purchased, with the hope of adding as the money shall be earned. The sewing room of the school was used by the native Red Cross auxiliary for their workroom. The schoolhouse was thrown open one day after school closed for an ice-cream sale given by the native missionary society. A night school was organized for the purpose of holding classes in English and civil government. The attendance was small, but the time was well spent in that those who were able to come really felt a need. The dramitization of Cinderella and the Three Bears at Christmas time was a great success. The Alaska Native Brotherhood furnished a treat for the children that was in keeping with war-time regulations. On Washington's birthday all the schools in the town united in giving a patriotic program. A little play, “Washington's Birthday,” was given very successfully by the native children. The Alaska Native Brotherhood has constructed a fine hall on the water front near the center of the village, and it is here that cottagers and the people of the village assemble for their meetings and good times. The large communal houses in the village are almost invariably tribal, and as such are open to one and all of the tribe, all sharing the expense or ignoring it, as the case may be. In many of the homes one finds as many as five families. The main floor is generally used only for celebrations, the second floor being divided into sleeping quarters, while narrow lean-to sections are provided for the cooking and storerooms. If the village town site could be properly surveyed with reference to improvement along cottage lines, and the land blocked out for the various families as nearly as possible in the sections where the tribal houses now stand, and this plan submitted to the village through a representative group of the people, it would give them some basis on which to work. The natives are extremely responsive to suggestion, and when they see the advantage they themselves will gain are eager to secure the desired object. Many of our natives received large returns for their labor last summer, Some have been frugal and saved by investing in Liberty bonds; others have