I have actually lived the experience that is relevant to the schools in the Bush but with a few differences;
My schooling started in the mid 1930s right after the bottom of the Depression. My school house was similiar to some of the native school houses with the exception that we had no electricity, no running water, had an outdoor toilet, heat was supplied by wood or coal. Our lights were Coleman lanterns and our playground had no play equipment of any kind, but in the winter time, the first student to arrive at school, would tramp out the "Run fox run track in the snow" and we played outside every recess and lunch period.
The biggest difference was that our parents had no permanent fund for every person in the family for income, no state or government grants for the construction and maintenance of beautiful buildings, no coorporations giving dividends to your parents, no welfare payments when the fishing season is over. Simply no money; as the world turns, this may have been some of the happiest times of my life.
Every child walked to school and could not start until they were 6 years old because you had to be capable to walk up to two miles. In seventh grade, I had perfect attendance and walked 1 and 3/4 miles picking up three children who had to walk 1 and 1/2 miles and 1 more at 1/4 mile to school. We lived in Northern Iowa and the weather could be worse than living here in Kenai.
It appears to me that there is a serious problem with the parents and Elders of the communities of their duty to their children to see that they have an education. Money and nice schools do not provide an education. You are responsible to exert a little effort and parents need to step up to their responsibilities.
Paul D. Morrison
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