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War Week: Alaska Natives in the Military

We conclude War Week here at the Alaskan Librarian by examining a site that salutes some of the most patriotic soldiers to serve in World War II:

Alaska Natives in the Military
http://www.alaskool.org/projects/ak_military/akmilitaryindx.htm

I call these soldiers “some of the most patriotic” because at the time, Alaska was guilty of deep, overt racism. It was not uncommon to see signs in shops that read “No Natives or Dogs.” Schools were segregated and Alaska Natives were considered to be inferior even in polite society.  Their plight was similar to other Native Americans and that of African-Americans. And yet, they answered the call of a country that wouldn’t give them the time of day. We are richer for their patriotism and compassion.

The web site “Alaska Natives in the Military” from the Alaskool Native curriculum site provides starting point for examing this heritage.

The site has a set of WWII era paintings, an excerpt from the book Men of the Tundra: Alaska Eskimos at War by Muktuk Marston, campaign maps and more.

I hope you enjoyed War Week and got a sense of the internet resources available on Alaska military history. These sites are far from the last word on the subject though. If you visit WorldCat.org and do a keyword search on Alaska Military History, you’ll get 732 hits. And if you were with me last week, you might try a search on the Alaska & Polar Periodical Index. There will be more results there as well.

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2 Responses

  1. Until1969 Ole Muktuk’s Turnagain Subdivision had a covenant against natives living there.

  2. Many subdivisions, including the one my parents bought into in 1972 had despicable covenants. They weren’t racists and didn’t buy into the subdivision for the covenant.

    Did Muktuk put the covenant in place? If yes, where is this documented? If he did, that’s too bad.

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