The article reviews and analyses Nikolay Ivanovich Ilminsky’s educational missionary activities involving the indigenous population of Kazan. The mission was unique in that it was realised through education. Ilminsky applied new educational approaches and methods when working with local ethnic minorities; most importantly, instruction was offered in their native language and training was provided for those of them who wished to become teachers. Ilminsky also developed the framework for the Kryashen language based on the Cyrillic script instead of the traditional Arabic. Towards the end of the XIX century, Ilminsky pioneered and helped establish a whole network of ethnic minority schools as well as prominent higher education institutions training teachers for ethnic minority schools and priests for non-Russian parishes.
Keywords: mission, education, Kryashens, non-Russians, Kazan Kryashen Tatar school, of St Gury Brotherhood.