Religion, Assimilation and the Yup’ik Experience

A lot to ponder in this entry.

Wickersham's Conscience

Rev. Sheldon Jackson, D.D., c. 1895 (photographer unknown), via WikiCommons

WC subscribes to too many email lists. One of those email lists recently coughed up an article on the early stages of the Moravian church’s missionary experience in the Kuskokwim River delta in southwestern Alaska. “Moravians and Yup’ik on the Kuskokwim River Delta,” by Ryan Barwick has an interesting defensive tone, but is based on a thorough study of the Moravian mission to southwest Alaska over its first 30 years or so.

WC lived for five years in a rental house that was part of the Moravian “mission row” in Bethel, Alaska. That gave a very young and very impressionable young WC an odd perspective on the Moravian missionary effort, and a lingering interest in the impact of the missionaries on WC’s Yup’ik schoolmates.

Some background for non-Alaskans: in 1883, Reverend Sheldon Jackson, a Presbyterian minister, was selected…

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