Lost Villages

Lost Villages Project participants visit Makushin Village in 2009.
Credit Lauren Adams

During World War II, the Aleutian Islands became a front line in the Pacific theater. The arrival of war resulted in mass relocation of the Unangax̂, the indigenous people of the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. Several villages were never resettled. Evacuation had a profound impact on culture and identity, which continues to resonate today. "Tanadgusim Adan Chiilulix (a Journey Home): Revisiting the Lost Villages of the Aleutian Islands" tells the story of a project that brought Unangax̂ survivors of World War II back to the communities they were forced to leave during the war — and then never allowed to resettle.

KUCB coverage of the Lost Villages Project is supported in part by a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum and the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this coverage does not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Courtesy of Paul Schaughency's Family

The mailboxes of a group of World War II veterans have recently been flooded with a number of postcards and letters.

The veterans all served in the Aleutian Campaign, which is often referred to as the "Forgotten War," and began in 1942 when the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor and occupied the western Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska. And the cards are part of a letter-writing campaign aimed at commemorating the World War II vets who served in the area.

Maggie Nelson/KUCB

 

In late June, Thomas Drennan McLenigan, education outreach manager at the Museum of the Aleutians, began publishing a series of Instagram posts about historically and locally significant places on the island. 

UAA Archives

On Feb. 29, KUCB's Lost Villages documentary became available for nationwide distribution on The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

The film is a culmination of over a decade of work, both by KUCB reporters and outside historians and institutions.

KUCB's General Manager Lauren Adams said the station has never reached an audience this large.

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