DECEMBER 7, 1884


Kathryn was born in Unalaska. She attended Jesse Lee Home for Children before going to Carlisle Indian Industrial School, graduating in 1906, and Westchester State Normal School, graduating in 1907. Kathryn taught at Sitka for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1908, but with her husband, went to Atka, Alaska, in 1909 to open the 1st government-funded school in the Aleutian Islands. The first teacher in Atka, Seller taught there for 4 years. Together, they helped build a community farm, acquire a boat for community use, and offered sewing machines for students. She taught on several of the Aleutian Islands before moving to Anchorage in 1920. Widowed in 1936, Kathryn taught Native students at remote schools. She also developed skills as a basketmaker, and served as a midwife, health officer, reservation superintendent, and photographer. Her advocacy for her people were acknowledged in 1950 by the U.S. Department of the Interior & by Congress. Seller died in San Francisco on June 17, 1980.

  “Kathryn Seller,” Alaska Women's Hall Of Fame.  Retrieved 9/29/2022, Kathryn Seller | Alaska Women's Hall Of Fame (
Photo:  Author and date unknown (1922 or earlier). Kathryn Dyakanoff Seller with three of her children, from a 1922 publication. Public Domain.  Source: Lawrence William Pedrose, "An Aleut Indian Educator" Sunset Magazine (December 1922): 26.

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