Group gathered around the casket of Sophia Tetoff
A group of worshippers join the Peters family as they pray over Sophia’s casket at the Sts. Peter and Paul Church, St. Paul Island, Alaska, in July. (Courtesy of St. Paul Island Productions)

Sophia’s Story: Reclaiming an Orphan From an ‘Indian School’

Lauren Peters, a UC Davis Native American studies doctoral student, and her family recently returned the remains of their grandmother's aunt, Sophia Tetoff, to her native Aleut island in Alaska. In 1896 the 12-year-old orphan was sent to an Indian school in Pennsylvania where she died five years later and was buried. The Peterses are among the hundreds of Native families retrieving their ancestors from school cemeteries in the United States and Canada. They are believed to be the first to return a Native child to Alaska.

Read about the family’s journey to bring Sofia home.

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