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132   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

investment for their earnings, and usually take deer in preference to cash for services, when an opportunity is offered. The Government does not sell deer, this is done by natives and missions alone. The various missions are furnished a herd of one hundred deer on loan for a period of five years by the government. At the end of this time the original number must be returned. The mission keeps the increase of fawns, which amount to several hundred, derived from the Government loan. The Moravian mission of Bethel has one of the largest herds, nearly three thousand. Other missions having over one thousand deer, all in Arctic Alaska, north of the Yukon, are located at Colovin, Kotzebue, Shishmerof, and Cape Wales. At point Barrow, latitude 71°25', the most northern point on the American continent, there is a herd of 300. The total population here is about 400, men, women and children. One native, "Takpuk," is considered the richest man of that region as he owns a herd of 137 reindeer. The missions support and educate a number of young apprentice herders.

The native herders also take on apprentices and award them six deer a year in payment for their services. The Laplanders take a loan of deer for five years from the Government and give their services as instructors for that period. At the end of five years the Lapp returns the 100 deer and becomes an independent herder himself with the large increase of reindeer he has obtained from the herd. The Lapp herders are not interested in the extension of the reindeer among the natives. Some of the largest owners of deer are Lapps, some half dozen of these men having accumulated herds of from five to nearly eight hundred.

In introducing the reindeer as a means to promote the industrial life and to provide a permanent livelihood for the Eskimo, it has been found necessary by the Government to put the young natives through a course of training. Those who get their deer directly from the Government serve an apprenticeship of five years. There are several hundred of these at present. They are bound by a written contract, the strict terms of which they cannot violate without peril of losing their annual allotment of reindeer and suffering discharge from the service. This caring for, training, and breeding the deer is an education in it-self, and the best which the Government could give to the young natives. With careful training the Eskimo boys make excellent herders. They readily learn how to take care of the reindeer, to throw the lasso, to harness and drive the deer, and to watch the fawns. Siberian herders were first imported to teach them; but of late the more intelligent and efficient Laplanders, who have learned by centuries of experience the breeding of reindeer, were secured. The Eskimo boys take quickly to


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