UNANGAX CULTURE

Sharon Svarny-Livingston

Since mid-March, Unalaskans have been hunkering down and socially isolating due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time—and even now as the State of Alaska reopens—many people have been avoiding crowds and public spaces such as bars, restaurants, and supermarkets, and spending more time in their own kitchens.

Over the past couple months, I spoke with a few locals to see what kind of experiments, recipes, and memories they’ve been cooking up during the pandemic.

 

Courtesy of the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska

May 5 is National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The missing and murdered Native women epidemic is an issue currently affecting Indigenous people in the United States, Canada, and around the world. 

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The Yakov E. Netsvetov School in Atka has struggled with low enrollment in recent years. But this month, 10 students showed up for the first day of classes.

As KUCB's Laura Kraegel reports, the increase is helping the school to avoid a shutdown — and hinting at greater stability for the small Unangax̂ community in the western Aleutian Islands.

"First day of school!" announced teacher Sonja Mills as the school bell rang. "We did it!"

KUCB Staff

Over the last 10 years, the Lost Villages Project has helped Unangax̂ people to reconnect with the communities of Makushin, Kashega, Biorka, and Attu — none of which were resettled after the evacuation and Aleutian campaign of World War II.

Now, the project is being commemorated with a film premiere, a museum exhibit, and a reunion trip.

MUSEUM OF THE ALEUTIANS

The Museum of the Aleutians is opening a new exhibit June 14.

"Chiilulix: The Long Journey Home" will explore the history of four Aleutian communities that were never resettled after the evacuation of World War II — as well as the Lost Villages Project that eventually helped Unangax̂ survivors and descendants to reconnect with those places. 

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