UNANGAN CULTURE

MUSEUM OF THE ALEUTIANS

A new exhibition opens Friday at the Museum of the Aleutians. 

"Alaska Native Dolls: A Cultural thread" includes 88 dolls from the collection of Heidi Catlett, who's working with MOTA as a guest curator.

For 30 years, Catlett has traveled the state as a dental hygienist, growing her collection along the way.

"When I would go out, I was so fascinated with the people and the cultures," said Catlett. "I found these dolls represented that."

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

A national radio program is hosting a live call-in show Tuesday about Attu Island.

The episode of "Native America Calling" will explore the Aleutian campaign of World War II, the Attuans' captivity in Japan, and recent efforts by Attu descendants to reconnect with their ancestral homeland.

Zoë Sobel / KUCB

 

Descendants of Alaska's westernmost island want permanent access to their ancestral home.

Since World War II, the Native people of Attu have been separated from their homeland.

Lisa Hupp/USFWS

 

It’s been 75 years since thousands of young soldiers lost their lives fighting over the westernmost point of the United States. Seventy-five years since the Alaska Native people of Attu were taken from their homes never to return again.

 

This weekend, former Attu residents, as well as veterans of the Aleutian campaign and descendants of the Japanese soldiers joined together to commemorate the tragedy and honor the legacy of those lost.

 

 

Zoë Sobel / KUCB

Seventy-five years after Japan invaded the furthest tip of the Aleutian chain, Attuans are returning home.

In 1942, there were 44 people living on Attu Island, nearly all Alaska Natives. They were taken as captives to Japan, where half of them died. And after the war, the federal government forbade them from returning.

But in August, a group of 11 descendants finally visited their ancestral home for the first time.

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