Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
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Lost Villages

  • Gregory Golodoff was sitting in a sod house when the soldiers arrived. “We had heard machine gunfire from this side, this side, you know. I forgot who it was told us they’re coming from this side, they’re coming from that,” Golodoff said in a 2018 interview — 75 years after the Battle of Attu. The Japanese Imperial Army invaded the Unangax̂ village in 1942, where the three-year-old Golodoff lived with his family.
  • The last surviving person from Attu, Gregory Golodoff, passed away earlier this month at the age of 84. Golodoff was a young child in 1942 when the Japanese Imperial Army invaded his village in the western Aleutians. The Battle of Attu was the last major action of the Aleutian Islands campaign of World War II.
  • A collection of 50-year-old audio recordings from the Aleutians have been digitized and are now accessible online.The recordings were part of an Unalaska school project from the ‘70s. A group of students and their teacher recorded various Elders in hopes of documenting the language, culture and history of the Unangax̂ community and the Aleutian region.There’s about 60 reel-to-reel audio tapes that make up the collection. They include topics from day-to-day activities to historic events, fishing stories and recipes, to accounts from Makushin and the other lost villages that were forcibly evacuated during World War II.
  • A collection of audio reels made in the Aleutian region in the 1970s was digitized and will soon be available online through the University of Alaska Fairbanks.The recordings were part of a school project that started in 1977 when a group of Unalaska students and their teacher Ray Hudson started collecting texts about the culture, language and history of the Aleutians. They called themselves the “Cuttlefish Class” – a name they picked out together – and they called their project the “Cuttlefish Series.”The students put together six hefty volumes meant to bring the island community and Unangax̂ culture into the classroom. They contain things like fishing stories, letters, recipes for alodics (an Unangax̂ form of fry bread), as well as memories from Makushin and the other lost villages that were forcibly evacuated during World War II.
  • In late June, Thomas Drennan McLenigan, education outreach manager at the Museum of the Aleutians, began publishing a series of Instagram posts about…