King Islanders

The photographs in this exhibit and much of the background research that accompanies them come the archives of the the Oregon Province of Jesuits. This exhibit also drew from the writings of Paul Tiulana, a King Islander born in 1921 on the island who wrote in the 1980s about his community's heritage. Thus, with the exception of Tiulana's writings, much of the information about and all of the images of the King Islanders presented here come to us through a Jesuit perspective. 

This is a collection of photographs taken by Jesuit Joseph M. Treca in 1916. The photographs provide a snapshot of the King Islander community while they were in Nome. 

King Island is about 40 miles off the coast of Alaska and 90 miles northwest of Nome. The first twenty years of the twentieth century was a time of change for this area. Following the Nome Gold Rush of 1898, whites came en masse to an area that had been relatively isolated from white culture beforehand. Thus, these photographs capture a community in a period of change. 

Special Collections at Santa Clara University have also digitized photographs of the King Islanders. For images taken by Bernard Hubbard, S.J. see: 
Much of those photographs are from mid-twentieth century. Thus the Treca collection here are some of the earliest archival photographs of the King Island community. 


Native American Religions, Spring 2016