1976: Alaska Native high school students sue Alaska State
Molly Hootch, a 16-year-old from the Yukon River village of Emmonak, and Anna Tobeluk, an 18-year-old from the 400-resident village of Nunapitchuk, sue Alaska for failing to provide local high schools in predominantly Alaska Native villages. Tobeluk argues that the state is discriminating against Alaska Native students and contributing to dropout rates. In October, the signing of the Tobeluck Consent Decree commits the state to provide high schools in Alaska Native villages. Eventually 105 high schools open.
Before the Tobeluk Consent Decree, the state of Alaska relied on Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools, notably Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. Alaska Native students attended Mt. Edgecumbe or other BIA boarding schools in Oregon, California, or Oklahoma, or boarded with families in Alaskan cities. Like Molly Hootch, many of the students were treated as servants by white families with whom they boarded while attending public high schools.
- Native Rights