Alaska Native Boarding School Collections Survey

When the Department of the Interior (DOI) began their investigation into American Indian and Alaska Native boarding schools in the United States of America, we knew that libraries, archives, and museums could help in the search for the truth. 

Many of Alaska’s collecting institutions store data, stories, photographs, journals, correspondence and more that document the motivations, perceptions, and activities of American teachers, missionaries, and administrators and the experiences of Alaska Native children who lived at boarding schools and orphanages. 

Your collections may hold the information that Americans—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous—require for this truth telling journey.

Please fill out this survey to indicate whether you have primary sources in your collection related to American Indian and Alaska Native boarding schools and orphanages, so that we may all assist the DOI and Indigenous communities in this investigation. 

We are creating a master list of collecting institutions with boarding school and orphanage-related items, and will continuously update it as you send us information about your institution’s holdings.

As collecting institutions, we gather objects and primary documents to tell the history of the moment, but we preserve them for times like these. 

Please help Indigenous communities find answers and the truth.

We appreciate your help! Please contact us at di******@mu***********.org if you have any questions. Dixie Clough, the director of Museums Alaska, will respond or forward your question to the appropriate partner.

For additional museum and archival training opportunities offered through other national, regional and local organizations, check out the Training link to the right.



THERE IS NO HARD DEADLINE TO ADD INFORMATION TO THIS SURVEY. Ideally, we would like to see responses in the next six months to a year, but we know that everyone is busy. If you do not currently have the time to devote to this request, we ask that you add the completion of this survey to future work plans and goals.


This is an initiative created and supported by Museums Alaska, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Alaska State Libraries, Archives, and Museums, the Alaska Library Association, and the Alaska Historical Society. 

We would like to create a database of collections that are related to Alaska Native boarding schools and orphanages. This database will be held by the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Please help us ensure that government, academic, and family researchers can locate and access all known resources by filling out the survey.

If you know that your organization does not hold any related collections, please complete the survey indicating as much, so we can make a note of that.

If you are unsure whether you have any related collections, you can complete the survey by clicking on the “unsure” answers. If you do so, please include a note in “additional comments” that details if you will be able to return to the survey with more concrete answers in the future, or that you don’t have the staffing or time to complete the survey in the future.

We are especially interested in primary-source or unique records, objects, and other documentation involving Alaska Native boarding schools and orphanages, but if you also have mass-produced, secondary-source collections items that you would like the public to be aware of, please include those items in the description of collections.

We appreciate your help! Please contact us at di******@mu***********.org if you have any questions. Dixie Clough, the director of Museums Alaska, will respond or forward your question to the appropriate partner.



The below list was generously provided by Ken Pratt, the ANCSA Program Manager at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The listing presented herein should not be considered comprehensive. It was compiled during research undertaken in response to the “Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative” issued by the Secretary of the US Department of the Interior (DOI) on June 22, 2021; and that research is ongoing. Please see more information and notes at the bottom of the survey.

Not all of the below are schools or orphanages in Alaska. In an effort to be inclusive, we have included a hospital in Oregon where Alaska Native people were sent, and several Canadian schools—some were places Alaska Native people were sent, and others have the same names as Alaska cities, and therefore collections related to these schools may have ended up in Alaska.

  • Akulurak (“Kwikpak”) Mission – Akulurak, AK – Catholic Jesuit mission/boarding school and orphanage (1894-1898; 1905-1951. Also known as St. Joseph’s Mission and St. Joseph’s Boarding School. Following its closure in 1951, replaced by the St. Mary’s Mission (see below).
  • Barrow (Barrow [Utqiaġvik], AK – Presbyterian Church boarding school, ca. ?).
  • Bethel Mission Station (Bethel, AK – Moravian Church mission and school, 1885-1910?).
  • Bethel Regional High School (Bethel, AK – 1972 to present): opened two years after the DOI initiative’s effective end date (1969), but we are including it on this list in an effort to be inclusive.
  • Carmel Mission (Nushagak, AK – Moravian Church mission and school, 1887-1906).
  • Chooutla Indian Residential School (Carcross, Yukon Territory, Canada): This boarding school is reported to be in Alaska on the NNABSHC website; in fact, it was a Canadian school operated by the Anglican Church from 1911-1969.
  • Christ Church Mission/Anvik Mission (Anvik, AK – Episcopalian mission and boarding school, 1887-1950s).
  • Copper Valley School (Glennallen, AK – Catholic Jesuit, 1956-1971).
  • Cordova (Cordova, AK – Presbyterian Church boarding school, ca. ?).
  • Covenant Mission (1887-1991 [also known as the Swedish Evangelical Covenant Mission and Swedish Mission Covenant]) and Covenant School (1954-1985) (Unalakleet, AK – Swedish Evangelical Covenant Church mission and school).
  • Dillingham Mission (Dillingam, AK – Catholic Jesuit church and boarding school, 1948-1966). Also known as Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima, and Holy Rosary School.
  • Eaton Reindeer Station (located on the Unalakleet River about eight miles upstream from Unalakleet, AK – US Government School, 1898-1906). [**Probably also served as a boarding school, but confirmation needed.]
  • Eklutna Vocational School (Eklutna, AK – Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, 1924-1946). Also known as the Eklutna Industrial School. Originally established as an orphanage to house children who lost their parents in the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic).
  • El Nathan Children’s Home (Valdez, AK – Orphanage, 1934-1962). Also known as El Nathan Orphanage.
  • Fort Wrangell Tlingit Industrial School (Fort Wrangell, AK – Presbyterian boarding school, 1877-ca. 1907). Apparently first known as the McFarland Girls’ Home. The site is within the modern city of Wrangell, AK. [This is not the Wrangell Institute, below.]
  • Fort Yukon Mission School (Fort Yukon, AK – Episcopal Church, established by 1910 and operated through at least 1940). Also known as St. Steven’s Mission and Hudson Stuck Mission. The Hudson Stuck Memorial Hospital was presumably also affiliated with the Episcopal Church mission.
  • Friends High School (Kotzebue, AK – Quaker, 1887-?).
  • Galena Interior Learning Academy (Galena, AK – 1997 to present). Though this school is not relevant to the DOI boarding school initiative because it opened 28 years after the initiative’s effective end date (1969), we are including it on this list in an effort to be inclusive.
  • Gambell (Gambell, AK [St. Lawrence Island] – Presbyterian Church boarding school, ca. ?).
  • Golovin Mission School/Children’s Home (Golovin, AK – Swedish Evangelical Covenant Church, 1893-?).
  • Holy Cross Hospital (Nome, AK – Catholic, Sisters of Providence hospital and school, 1902-1918). The Sisters of Providence were Catholic missionaries from Canada. In 1918, the hospital was contracted by the government to house 80 children orphaned during the influenza epidemic. The orphans’ stay at the hospital was temporary: they were steadily transferred to the Catholic Church’s Pilgrim Hot Springs Orphanage (see below). See also, St. Joseph Hospital (below).
  • Holy Cross Mission (Holy Cross, AK – Catholic Jesuit mission/boarding school and orphanage, 1888-1956). Also known as the Mission of the Holy Cross, and Kosorefsky. [This school is identified as “Koserefsky” on the NNABSHC website.] The Catholic Church decided to close this mission in 1956 and “replace” it with the Copper Valley School (see above). Some students and staff from the Holy Cross Mission were transferred to the Copper Valley School.
  • Jesse Lee Children’s Home (Unalaska, AK – United Methodist Church orphanage, 1890-1924).
  • Jesse Lee Children’s Home (Seward, AK – United Methodist Church Orphanage (1925-1965). The “Great Alaska Earthquake” of 1964 damaged the orphanage buildings so badly that all the children in residence were permanently transferred to Anchorage.
  • Jesse Lee Children’s Home (Anchorage, AK – United Methodist Church Orphanage, 1964-1970).
  • Kanakanak Orphanage and Kanakanak Industrial School (Dillingham [also, “Choggiung”], AK – US Bureau of Education, 1919-1930).
  • Kanatak Vocational School (Kanatak, AK – US Bureau of Education [Bureau of Indian Affairs?], 1924-ca. 1950).
  • Kodiak Aleutian Regional High School (Kodiak, AK): opened in 1967 so is thought to have little relevance to the DOI boarding school initiative.
  • Kodiak Baptist Mission (previously Woody Island Mission located in Chiniak Bay, moved to Kodiak, AK in 1930).
  • Kodiak Orthodox Orphanage (Kodiak, AK – Russian Orthodox Church orphanage and school, 1894-?).
  • Kokrines – St. Stanislaus/St. Paul the Apostle Mission (Kokrines, AK – Catholic Jesuit mission, 1904-1915 [Fairbanks, 1894-1915]; Episcopalian boarding school, 1904-1906; US Bureau of Education school, 1908-ca. 1945; Protestant boarding school, 1945-ca. 1948).
  • Lazy Mountain Children’s Home (Palmer, AK – Orphanage, 1947-1972). Received funding support from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which suggests Alaska Native children were in residence.
  • Methodist Episcopal Orphanage (Sinuk and Nome, AK – Methodist Church orphanage and hospital, 1909-late 1920s). Apparently also known as the Lavinia Wallace Young Mission.
  • Metlakatla Indian Residential School (1891-1962), was in Metlakatla, British Columbia, Canada. Researchers who encounter references to an Episcopal Church boarding school at Metlakatla should not assume the school was located on Annette Island in southeast Alaska. The Metlakatla Indian Residential School, 1891-1962, was instead in Metlakatla, British Columbia, Canada (; see also Fortuine 1989:187).
  • Morningside Hospital (Portland, OR – 1904-1968): As mentioned above, the US Government contracted with Morningside Hospital to provide care for mentally-ill/mentally-handicapped patients from Alaska, including Alaska Natives. Many of those patients died while at the hospital and, consequently, were buried in Portland.
  • Mt. Edgecumbe (Sitka, AK – Presbyterian mission, boarding school [High School], 1947-present). Run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1947 to 1983.
  • Nenana High School (Nenana, AK – 1966 to present): opened just a few years before the DOI boarding school initiative’s effective end date (1969). A boarding component called the Nenana Student Living Center is/was associated: it may be synonymous with the Nenana Boarding Home (1966-1976).
  • Nome-Beltz (Nome, AK – 1966 to present): its date of opening suggest it has little relevance to the DOI boarding school initiative.
  • Nunapitsinghak Moravian Children’s Home (on Kwethluk River, three miles upstream from Kwethluk, AK – Moravian Church orphanage and boarding school, 1926-1973). Also known as the Kuskokwim Orphanage and Training School and the Alaska Children’s Home.
  • Ougavik Mission School (Uknavik, AK [on Kuskokwim River near Lower Kalskag] – Moravian Church school, 1893-ca. 1906).
  • Our Lady of the Snows (Nulato, AK – Catholic Jesuit mission and school, 1887-1969[?]; the boarding school opened in 1899). Also known as St. Peter Claver Mission.
  • Pilgrim Hot Springs/Our Lady of Lourdes Mission and Orphanage (Pilgrim Hot Springs, AK – Catholic Jesuit mission and orphanage, 1918-1941).
  • Pius Tenth Mission (Skagway, AK – Catholic, 1932-1959). Also, Skagway Sanitorium (1945-1947), established for WWII displaced Aleuts with tuberculosis.
  • Point Hope (Point Hope, AK – Episcopal, church/mission and school, 1890-?)
  • Sheldon Jackson School/Sheldon Jackson College (Sitka, AK – Presbyterian, 1878-2007. Also known as the Presbyterian Boy’s Boarding School and the Sitka Industrial Training School.
  • St. Ann’s Academy (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) – between 46 and 48 students from Alaska attended this Catholic Jesuit school operated by the Sisters of St. Ann from 1858 to 1923.:
  • St. Ann’s Convent (Cowichan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada) – 24 other Alaska students attended another Catholic Jesuit facility operated by the Sisters of St. Ann from 1864 to 1923. An Alaska student from Sitka died at the convent in September 1885:
  • St. Ann’s School (Douglas, AK – Catholic Jesuit [Sisters of St. Ann] boarding school, 1896-1920).
  • St. Ann’s Hospital and School (1886-1968 [Juneau, AK]), St. Ann’s Academy (1896-1968 [Juneau, AK]) – Catholic Jesuit (Sisters of St. Ann); each of the three facilities served as a boarding school at some point.
  • St. Joseph Hospital (Fairbanks, AK – Catholic Jesuit (Sisters of Providence); evidently served as a boarding school for some period of time beginning in 1918. When Holy Cross Hospital (in Nome) closed in September 1918, “the remaining Sisters” there were invited to join the Sisters of Providence in Fairbanks, at St. Joseph Hospital. They did so, taking “two boarders still in their care” with them to Fairbanks. One of those boarders worked as a handyman for the Sisters of Providence in Nome and continued to do so in Fairbanks. He “lived and worked with them until his passing” in 1956 ( (see also,
  • St. Marks Mission (Nenana, AK – Episcopalian Church and Anglican Church mission and boarding school, ca. 1907-1955).
  • St. Mary’s Mission (St. Mary’s, AK – Catholic Jesuit mission/boarding school and orphanage (1951-1987). Directly linked to the Akulurak Mission (see above), which was closed and “relocated” to the village of St. Mary’s [Andreafsky] in 1951.
  • St. Timothy’s Mission (Tanana, AK – Episcopalian Church and boarding school, ca. ?).
  • Teller Lutheran Orphanage/Teller Mission – (Brevig Mission, AK – Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1900-?).
  • Teller Reindeer Station/Teller Reindeer Training School (Port Clarence [Teller Station], AK – US Government School, 1892-1900). Established for the education of children of Lapp families who had come to Alaska to train local Native people the art of reindeer herding; but Native children also became students and residents of the school.
  • Victory Bible Camp/Victory High School (Mile 94 Glenn Highway, AK – Christian camp/school/boarding school, 1947-1982).
  • White Mountain Boarding School (White Mountain, AK – Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, established 1926; school/orphanage, 1919-1953). Also known as the White Mountain Industrial School.
  • Woody Island Mission (located in Chiniak Bay about 2.5 miles from Kodiak, AK – American Baptist orphanage, school, and hospital, 1893-1937).
  • Wrangell Institute (located about 5 miles from Wrangell, AK – State/Public K-8 boarding school, 1932-1975). Run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. [This is not the Fort Wrangell Tlingit Industrial School, above.]

Russian America Period Orphanages and Schools

The earliest boarding school in what is now Alaska dates to the mid-1780s and was operated by a merchant trading company: the students were Native boys who were being held as hostages in the Russian settlement (Fedorova 1973:243). The following list of boarding schools during the Russian America period of Alaska’s history is based on Fedorova (1973:242-246; see also Fortuine 1989:111-115; Luehrmann 2008:113-132). The list—which should not be considered comprehensive—provides the location, date of establishment, and name of the organization that established and/or operated each school.

  • Three Saints Bay, Kodiak Island: 1784-1786 [American Northeastern Company]
  • Kenai Peninsula: by 1794 [Lebedev-Lastochkin Company]
  • Kodiak Orthodox Orphanage and School – After 1867, the Russian Orthodox Church continued to operate schools in the Territory of Alaska (see Luehrmann 2008:123-132), but the Kodiak Orthodox Orphanage and School may be the only one that can accurately be considered a “boarding school” [see Sonja Luehrmann (2008) – Alutiiq Villages under Russian and U.S. Rule. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks (e.g., pp. 113-132).]
  • St. Paul’s Harbor, Kodiak Island: 1805 [Russian-American Company]
  • Sitka (Novo-Arkhangel’sk): after 1805, several different schools [Russian-American Company and Russian Orthodox Church]
  • St. Paul Island: ca. 1820(?) [Russian-American Company]
  • Unalaska: 1825 [Russian Orthodox Church/Russian-American Company]
  • Nushagak Mission: 1843 [Russian-American Company]
  • Amlia Island: prior to 1860 [Russian Orthodox Church]