“True Heirs to a Heroic Russian Past” or “Russians in Name Only”: Sitka Creoles as Seen by the Late Nineteenth Century Russian Orthodox Clergy


Russian Orthodox missionaries conservative Russian nationalism American Alaska (late 19th – early 20th centuries) Creoles assimilation

How to Cite

1. Kan S. “True Heirs to a Heroic Russian Past” or “Russians in Name Only”: Sitka Creoles as Seen by the Late Nineteenth Century Russian Orthodox Clergy // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2020. № 4 (5). C. 12-37.


The paper examines the criticism levelled against the Creoles of Sitka (persons of Russian and Alaska Native descent) by the Russian Orthodox priests who came to minister among them in the late 19th-early 20th century. These clergymen accused their parishioners not only of immorality but also of not being truly Russian, as far as their language and culture were concerned. By focusing on this criticism, the paper explores the symbolic significance of Alaska’s Russian colonial and missionary history and its legacy in the conservative nationalist ideology of the Russian Orthodox clergy. Particular attention is paid to the causes to which this clergy attributed the decline of the Russian culture and devotion to Orthodoxy among the Creole population of this frontier American/Alaskan town.



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