WHEN Big Jim was still a young man in his native Selawik country he fell under the influence of the missionaries. Their teachings became the dominant force in his life. All the complexities of nature, all the problems of how the infinitely varied world he knew came to be, all the fear-provoking superstitions, were simply resolved in a perfect faith that a beneficent God, not so different in character from Jim himself, only infinitely greater, had created the universe for the happiness of mankind. In a severe life in which young friends were continually being carried violently to death, in which beloved parents died and apparently rotted away, it was very consoling to learn that after death everybody would be reunited in an existence infinitely happier than that on earth. "Me know nothing about all this, me no know how earth come, till me learn God business. Now me learn God business, everything fine."
This "God business" has come to the upper Koyukuk from three sources. The most important one is the Episcopal mission at Allakaket, which was established in 1907 by Archdeacon Stuck and ever since has striven to convert the natives to Christianity. It has also given them medical aid and schooling, regardless of the state of their faith. It has encouraged dancing and entertainments, and has even taken