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Home  >  Digital Archives  >  People of the North  >  Native Peoples
By Tricia Brown

The Alutiiq people occupy the Kodiak island group, the coastal areas of Prince William Sound, the Alaska Peninsula, and portions of the Kenai Peninsula. As one of the Eskimo groups, the Alutiiq language structure and many cultural practices are similar those of Yup'ik and Iñupiaq people. Drawing their subsistence from the sea, the Alutiiq were excellent seamen, and like their Aleut (Unangan) neighbors, crafted skin-covered kayaks to travel and hunt. Sea mammals and fish were foundational to their diet, and like all other Alaska Native groups, the Alutiiq used the skins, bones, and organs of the animals and birds they hunted to clothe themselves for any season. Art, dance, and celebration remain key to preserving the distinctive nature of the culture. The Alutiiq group has been identified with various names, before and after contact with Europeans, including Sugpiat or Pacific Eskimo. With the arrival of European settlers and intermarriage with Natives of this region, many Alutiiq people today carry Russian or Scandinavian surnames.


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Gallery of Images
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Three Saints Bay
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Peter Kewan's bidarka on the "Aleut Town" beach, Afognak, Alaska, ca. 1910
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A group of Natives by a barabara, 1901, above Seldovia

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