Unangax̂

Courtesy of Mariza Tovar

 

Indigenous women in the United States are murdered 10 times more often than the national average, and nearly half of all Alaska Native and Native American women have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime, according to the Department of Justice. 

Since 2017, May 5 has been recognized as National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit people. The day is often referred to as MMIWG2S or MMIW. 

Chrissy Roes/KUCB

In honor of Indigenous Peoples' Day, which took place on Monday, admission to Unalaska's Museum of the Aleutians will be free to the public through Saturday. 

Museum Director Ginny Hatfield said the museum will also be celebrating the holiday through a social media campaign in an effort to decolonize the nation's history. Museum staff plan to use the campaign as a platform to speak with Indigenous people in the region, as well as Unangax̂ community members.

Maggie Nelson/KUCB

Unalaska will soon be home to a community banya, or steam bath. The banya is part of a cultural build project involving the Qawalangin Tribe, Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA), the Aleut Foundation, and California carpenter and professional iqyax̂ (Aleutian sea kayak) builder Marc Daniels.

Tribe employees involved in the build said they are unsure of when the community will be able to use the banya, or who will have access to it, but eventually, the steam bath will be a communal space for people to share stories, advice, and healing.

Courtesy of Kaye Gumera

On Saturday, the community of Unalaska joined Shayla Shaishnikoff, Camp Qungaayux̂ coordinator for the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska, as she launched her first iqyax̂—an Unangax̂ skin-on-frame sea kayak—into Margaret Bay.