A Creole social group or estate, primarily the offspring of Russian men and Native women, was established in Alaska by the 1821 Russian-American Company charter. The Creoles enjoyed special rights and privileges in Russian America until the United States took over the jurisdiction of Alaska from Russia in the 1867 Treaty of Cession. Creoles then lost their privileged status and were positioned at the bottom of the American socioeconomic ladder. Many Creoles then began to deny their Native heritage and identify as Russians in attempts to avoid discrimination. Under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, anyone with one-quarter Native blood quantum could participate. Most descendants of Creoles met this requirement and enrolled, angering many Natives who had not identified as Russians. This paper examines the history of the Creoles on Kodiak Island through the eyes of the author, a descendant of Creoles, Natives, and Russians of the Russian America era.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.