Federal Officials Apologize For Role In WWII Internment Of Unangax

Jun 15, 2017


A memorial overlooking downtown Unalaska is dedicated to the Unangax̂ who were forced to evacuate during WWII, as well as the four Aleutian communities that were never resettled.
Credit Laura Kraegel/KUCB

On Wednesday, federal officials apologized for their role in the World War II internment of the Unangax̂ people.

Jim Kurth — acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — traveled to St. Paul Island to speak with survivors and descendants.

"As much as we wish, we cannot take back the course of history," said Kurth. "But what we can do now is heal together. We can work together."

Fish and Wildlife agents oversaw the internment of the people of the Pribilof Islands. They were sent to camps in southeast Alaska — where many died due to illness and starvation — after the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor in 1942.

In all, almost 900 Unangax̂ people were evacuated from the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands.