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Alutiiq and Aleuts of Alaska

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  • Agrafena Rastorguev (1780 - 1835)
    Native Alutiiq from Afognak Island, Kodiak region, which is considered the mother of the original 9 old families that formed the village of Ninilchik (Kvasnikoff, Oskolkoff, Crawford, Steik, Kelly, Jac...
  • Chief Ivan Gavrill Pan'kov (1778 - 1850)
    Chief of Tigalda Island that assisted Ivan Veniaminov, Russian Orthodox missionary, in learning the Unangan / Eastern Aleut language, developing an alphabet, and recording information about the people ...
  • Fr. Lavrentii Semenov Salamatov (c.1818 - 1864)
    Fr. Lavrentii Salamatov from Attu was educated by Iakov Netsvetov on Atka. He was ordained and when Netsvetov left the Aleutians for the Yukon, Salamatov became the parish priest for the Atka District....
  • Chief William Peter Zaharoff (1883 - 1962)
    Chief of Unalaska and Starosta of the Russian Orthodox Church, Bill and his wife Mary P. Tutiakoff were amongst the WWII Aleut evacuees that were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to and inter...
  • Peter Jonah Kostrometinoff, Jr. (1896 - 1941)
    First Mayor of Sitka, Alaska Telephone entrepeneur and Sitka's first mayor, Peter KOSTROMETINOFF Jr. (1896-1941) was the son of Peter J. KOSTROMETINOFF Sr. (1859-1931) & his wife Elizavieta KASHEVA...

Notables among the Alutiiq and Aleuts of Alaska.

The Aleut (Unangan) and Alutiiq (Sugpiaq), are south and southwest Alaska, maritime peoples, both with similar cultures and spoken dialects from the same language family, although not mutually intelligible. They are also considered unrelated, although there has been a significant amount of marriages between the groups, resulting in some Alutiiq families taking up residence in the Aleutian Islands with a designation of Unangan, whereas Aleuts stayed in the Kodiak region and ultimately became Sugpiaq. The Aleuts are generally a separate group, whereas the Alutiiq are considered Eskimo, as their spoken language is a dialect of Yup'ik.

The names of the groups are meant to reflect the designation of "Aleut" or "Aleuty", as commonly utilized during the Russian presence in Alaska. However, in modern times, the self-designation has grown considerably, with people, referring to themselves either as Aleut, Russian-Aleut, Unangan-Aleut, Sugpiaq-Aleut, Unangan, Unangax, or Sugpiaq. The usage of these terms can vary significantly, depending on the background of the people involved in the conversation. It is usually the affiliation with a particular Tribe in a certain geographical area that sets the people apart in a way that can be easily understood.

"The water is our living, whether it’s the creeks and rivers near villages, the shore outside or the vast waters of the North Pacific and Bering Sea. Knowledge of these resources and skill in harvesting them define the cycle of life in a village. The intensity of the weather that travels through our islands governs activities more than any other factor."