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Alaska has 24 incorporated towns whose assessed valuation totals $55,228,173, an increase of $9,763,895.49 over 1944. The rates of taxation range from 5 to 20 mills.
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
The Alaska Indian Service, which has had its name changed to the Alaska Native Service, under the direction of a General Superintendent, with headquarters in Juneau, operates to promote the welfare of the Eskimos, Aleuts and Indians of Alaska.
During 1945, 115 elementary day schools with an enrollment of 5,388 pupils and 3 vocational high schools with 451 students were maintained. A number of major projects over and above the usual routine were administered during the year, including the rehabilitation through authority from the FPHA, of the village of Hoonah which was largely destroyed by fire in June of 1944, and the return of the Aleut refugees from their temporary camps in southeastern Alaska to their respective villages in the Aleutian Islands.
Funds have been made available to provide a hot-lunch program in a number of Alaska Native Service day-schools and school lunches will be established as rapidly as possible. Establishment of this program will depend partly on the cooperation of parents in.each village and their willingness to participate through contribution of services and locally obtainable foods. Many schools and communities have already requested this service.
Home demonstration work in food preservation, home management, child care, etc., was carried out in cooperation with the University of Alaska Extension Department during the summer 1944, and the program was very well received.
Many Office of War Information films were distributed to various exhibitors during the various war bond drives. Approximately 5,000 people viewed 48 films which brought news and information concerning our nation at war to many remote localities wbich had previously been without this service.
NATIVE ARTS AND CRAFTS Total craft production, consisting principally of skin sewing, ivory carving, basketry and wood carving was $485,681, a gain of 494 percent over 1938, the first year for which figures are available. Raw products and help in marketing the finished work were handled through two clearing houses, at Juneau and Nome. Thirty-nine natives were employed in 33 villages as craft instructors. Natives also produced during the year about $200,000 worth of goods for their own use, chiefly fur clothing.
Reindeer are essential to the natives as a source of meat and skins for parkas, boots, mittens, sleeping bags, and other fur garments. There are approximately 60,000 reindeer on 34 tundra ranges between Kodiak and Point Barrow, 39,000 of which are Government-owned. Predation, particularly by wolves, has become a very serious problem, at least 30,000 untended deer having been lost in this fashion in the last year.
A modern cold storage and other meat processing equipment was completed at Nunivak Island, where reduction of reindeer is required to prevent overgrazing. Forty tons of Nupivak Island reindeer meat was supplied to merchants at Nome.
During the year approximately 7,000 reindeer were butchered, worth over $150,000 at present OPA wholesale prices.
EXTENSION—CREDIT Credit loans in Alaska are of two general types. In southeastern Alaska funds are loaned for fishing boats, engines and equipment; in other parts of Alaska native cooperative stores functioning as community clearing houses for furs, ivory and native crafts are organized, financed and supervised.
During the past year supplies totalling $403,383.26 have been requisitioned by 38 stores, 13 of which are financed with credit loans totalling $70,000. Boat shops at Ketchikan and Sitka are busy building and repairing boats and the canneries at Hydaburg and Metlakatla continued to show a profit.
The medical relief of the 32,458 natives in Alaska is administered by the Medical Division of the Alaska Native Service, with a full-time staff of 150 and the part-time services of 15 private physicians, 6 private dentists, and 4 public health nurses. Six hospitals were in operation throughout the year, caring for 1,582 patients, and a seventh, Skagway Sanatorium, an Army station hospital transferred to the Interior Department for use by the Service, was opened in April 1945 and has cared for 45 tubercular patients up to June 30. In the 13 contract hospitals in the Territory, 513 beneficiaries have received hospital care and 111 patients have been sent to the Tacoma Indian Service Hospital at Tacoma, Wash. At the Children's Orthopedic
Hospital in Seattle 34 crippled native children have received care and treatment through the Crippled Children's Service of the Territorial Department of Health.
Twenty-three field nurses conducted public health programs, rendered emergency nursing care, fought epidemics of diphtheria and influenza. A supervising dentist and 6 active contract dentists provided 2,602 dental treatments and examinations for 26,684 native school children and indigent adults. The Service's teachers, furnished with medical supplies and instructions for their use, administered 35,758 treatments for minor ailments during the year.
Tuberculosis remains the greatest health problem with an estimated 3,500 active cases of pulmonary tuberculosis among the natives of the Territory. During the year 319 cases were reported for the first time, 109 of which appeared on death certificates. All told, 211 native deaths from tuberculosis were reported. More hospital beds, adequate housing, better food habits among the natives, complete elimination or a least moderation of the consumption of hard liquor, adequate rest and appropriate clothing for prevailing weather are necessary to reduce the alarming number of tuberculosis cases.
CONSTRUCTION * In addition to the regular building repair program for schools and hospitals, much new construction was started during the fiscal year, including considerable alterations and additions to the Tuberculosis Sanatorium at Skagway, reconstruction of the Aleut village at Atka, and installation of utilities at White Mountain Vocational School.
SOCIAL WELFARE · During the fiscal year of 1945 a total of $99,989.71 was expended for the care of needy natives, approximately two-thirds of which was spent for dependent children in foster homes or institutions, slightly more than one-fourth for mothers' allowances and an eighth for general assistance.
Child welfare continues to be the most important phase of the program. Child neglect and delinquency still are increasing and no facilities exist in Alaska for the proper care and guidance of such children. Under the mothers' allowance, 216 families were assisted from welfare funds. An Emergency Welfare Center was set up in Fairbanks to relieve a critical housing shortage.
LABOR TERRITORIAL DEPARTMENT OF LABOR The Department of Labor, created by the 1941 Territorial Legislature, is in charge of a Commissioner elected by popular vote. His
duties include inspection of sanitary and safety conditions at all places of employment, regulation of hours and wages on public works, administration of wage payment laws, enforcement of the provisions of the women's minimum wage law, compilation of labor statistics, recommendation of labor legislation to the Territorial Legislature, promotion of voluntary mediation, conciliation and arbitration, etc.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions This office, supervision of which is under a Territorial representative appointed by the Secretary of Labor, operates under the Fair Labor Standards Act and has charge of the Walsh-Healey Act and the Davis-Bacon Act. The Territorial representative also represents the Department of Labor divisions such as Conciliation Service, Children's Bureau, Women's Bureau, and the Division of Labor Standards.
During the year, the office made Wage-Hour inspections of salmon canneries, banks, radio stations, lumber mills, logging camps, etc. Public contracts inspections under the Walsh-Healey Act were made of oil companies, construction projects, and lumber mills.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Two Bureau of Labor Statistics employees during the year made surveys of food cost and rental cost in Alaska. Indications are that the bureau will continue to operate in Alaska for at least another year.
UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY The work of the Geological Survey in Alaska is directed from Washington primarily toward aiding in the development of the mineral resources of the Territory. This has involved field investigations in the course of which all the known productive camps have been examined and about 300,000 square miles or approximately half of Alaska have been mapped topographically and geologically on reconnaissance standards.
During the year the work of the Alaskan Branch was directed exclusively to projects designed to make the maximum contribution to the nation's war plans. Examinations were made of deposits of various strategic materials in numerous locations in Alaska. Included in these examinations were deposits of iron, copper, zinccopper, barite, asbestos, lead, lead-zinc, magnetite, tungsten, coal, lignite, limestone, chromite, molybdenite, tin, and petroleum. Com
pilation of aeronautical pilotage maps and charts from photographs furnished by the Army Air Forces has continued to be a major activity.
TERRITORIAL DEPARTMENT OF MINES Territorial laws relating to mining are administered by the Commissioner of Mines assisted by three associate mining engineers, three assayers and field engineers, one assayer, and two clerks.
During the year investigations were made of various placer and lode deposits in the Seward Peninsula and of several mineral occurrences in the Petersburg district. Mining of high-grade tremolite asbestos was begun late in the summer of 1944 by a mining company, with the expectation of substantially larger operations in 1945. Investigations by an engineer of the Department of Mines are being continued in close cooperation with the company in an effort to delimit the area in which asbestos and jade occur. Indications to date are that the area may be much greater than previously reported.
Mineral determinations at the four public assay offices located at Anchorage, College, Ketchikan, and Nome numbered 3,490 during the year, many of which were of strategic and base minerals, but including an increasing number of gold-silver assays. The offices continued to assay samples for the U. S. Bureau of Mines in connection with its investigations of war mineral occurrences, and the assayers at Anchorage and College continued as deputy purchasing agents for the Metals Reserve Co. in connection with its stock-piling program. Purchases were discontinued December 31, 1944, and the stock piles of antimony, mercury, tin, and tungsten were prepared and shipped for use in the manufacture of war equipment.
Under cooperative arrangement with the Department of the Interior, the Commissioner of Mines, acting as district mining supervisor for the conservation branch of the Geological Survey, supervised all coal mining operations in Alaska, which are conducted under the provisions of the Federal Coal Leasing Act. Production of coal from the mines of Alaska exceeded in 1944 any previous year, amounting to about 350,000 tons.
Particular attention to safety features at the coal mines was necessary on account of the employment of inexperienced miners. One fatal accident occurred in 1944 in a lode-gold mine. Nonfatal accidents at all mines numbered 108, causing a loss of time amounting to 2,443 shifts. There were 1,540 men employed in the mining industry in Alaska during 1944, an increase of 91 over the previous year. There were small increases in employment at the placer and coal mines, whereas employment at lode mines continued to decrease.
In his capacity as War Production Board coordinator of mines, the Commissioner of Mines issued a total of 116 permits during the seasons