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Newspaper Page Text
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Dkvotkd To Th ic I nt k it ksts OfThkNativk Peoplk Of Alaska Vol. 8 Sitka. Alaska. Cctohkh, 1910 No.3 _ Native Women Selling Salmon Berries in Sitka. I In previous numbers of The j Thlinget our readers have been ! shown picturesof various student organizations, or groups of pupils at practical work. In this issue we give you a view of some of the older women from the na tive village who have never been in school. This picture was made several years ago and shows the women as they were ready to sell berries on a day when a tourist steamer was at the wharf. The log building is an old Russian structure having been in use as a trading post many years ago. It still does service for two stores where all visitors to Sitka may be supplied with native baskets and curios in abundance. The contrast between previous illustrations and the one given above is marked. The former were of the younger generation a generation reaching out for new things: a written language, practical means of working, greater pleasures, added cares, new hopes, new faith,a new life. The trend is upward. The latter shows a passing people. They represent the old life. They too have reached out for the new and have touched a bit of it; but it has been, as it were, reaching with one hand while with the other they have kept fast hold on the old. They grew up amidst traits and cus toms of the past centuries. These are in their blood and are dis placed very slowly indeed. They represent a declining age. But just as surely as the logs in the old building are disintegrating as the months and years pass over them, and the time is not far distant when a new and mod ern structure shall replace the old one, just so surely are the ancient dogmas and customs of these people slowly crumbling to decay and their children shall rise up?a new people that shall be a credit to our commonwealth. The passing of the old school buildings is, we hope, indicative of the disappearance of many traditions which the native peo ple must cast off, if they are to place themselves in line for useful citizenship.