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The new native. : (Hydaburg, Alaska) 1919-192?
Place of publication:
Hydaburg, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • Hydaburg, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
[Journalism class, Hydaburg School]
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 16, 1919)-
Weekly (irregular)
  • English
  • Alaska--Hydaburg.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01221174
  • Hydaburg (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • Suspended with Apr. 25, 1919 issue; resumed publication with Oct. 31, 1919 issue.
sn 97060029
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The new native. January 16, 1919 , Image 1


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The new native

The New Native, published in Hydaburg Alaska from 1919 to 1920 and owned by the Hydaburg Trading Company, was one of the only papers of its time to be written and published by Alaskan natives, giving it a unique voice among Alaskan newspapers. The New Native was complimented by many papers for its originality and use of illustrations. The paper was published by journalism students at the Hydaburg government school for Alaska natives, with the teacher acting in a consultant role. The paper used the name New Native to suggest that the native Alaskans of their day "are no longer the natives of 20 years ago" because they have "forsaken their belief in totemism and other antiquated customs and embraced the fruits of civilization." The paper primarily reported on local news, including school and sports news, as well as weighing in on debates around the issues of Native Alaskan rights and the government schools.

The New Native took great pains to point out the ways in which the Haida had adopted western customs and mannerisms, and to what extent they had distanced themselves from their traditional and ancient customs. They wrote in the first issue that "Hydas [sic] are a forward-looking people and constantly aspire to culture and achievements. To give voice to these higher aspirations is the mission of the New Native." The New Native responded to criticism of the Bureau of Education by Louis Paul, co-founder of the Alaska Fisherman, by defending the Bureau of Education and its mission. The paper pushed back against Paul's argument that the government schools did not prepare any of the students for high school or "industrial competition," and cited examples of the graduates at their school going on to high school or being employed around town.

In 1919 James Wickersham, the territorial delegate, wrote that those who lived on the Hyda reservation were not entitled to vote as "they have not … adopted the habits [of] civilized life." This prompted a strong response from the New Native on March 8, 1919, who characterized it as "so much fabricated bunk," and explained the purpose of the move to their current residence had been to "shake the last vestige of tribal procedure."

The New Native complained about the lack of native representation in the territorial government and extolled native Alaskan participation in the Red Cross as well as their subscriptions to the Victory Loan in World War I. The paper concluded that the "verdict of history, that social progress is never conferred upon any group in society without a struggle" was dawning on progressive leaders in the territory. The New Native continued at least through March 12, 1920.

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections