Boarding School and Land Allotment Eras 1879-1933
The Great Death and the Great Sickness: influenza and measles outbreak in Alaska
Known as the “Great Death” by Alaska Native survivors, the worldwide influenza epidemic, combined with the “Great Sickness” measles epidemic, overwhelms Alaska Native villages. It is estimated that the over one-quarter to one-half of Yup’ik, Inupiat, and Inupiaq communities die from the “Great Sickness” epidemic. Christian missionaries take full advantage of the epidemic’s devastating impact and launch an aggressive Christian conversion campaign. In some cases, whole villages convert to Christianity during this period (Wolfe, 1982).