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. 

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

After a decade of collecting footage and interviews, KUCB will premiere its new documentary on June 13.

The film is called "Tanadgusim Adan Chiilulix: Revisiting the Lost Villages of the Aleutian Islands." It's about 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's Laura Kraegel sat down with fellow reporter Zoë Sobel to learn more about the documentary inspired by the Lost Villages Project.

TRANSCRIPT

Courtesy of the Lekanoff Family

The friends and family of Nicholai Lekanoff are gathering Wednesday to celebrate the life of the noted Unangax̂ elder and church leader, who died last week at age 93.

Lekanoff was born in Makushin in 1925 and later moved to Unalaska with his family.

He was an altar boy in his youth and served throughout his life at the Holy Ascension Cathedral, where he became the Starosta and was known for his skill in ringing the church bells.

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

A national radio program is hosting a live call-in show Tuesday about Attu Island.

The episode of "Native America Calling" will explore the Aleutian campaign of World War II, the Attuans' captivity in Japan, and recent efforts by Attu descendants to reconnect with their ancestral homeland.

Zoë Sobel / KUCB

 

Descendants of Alaska's westernmost island want permanent access to their ancestral home.

Since World War II, the Native people of Attu have been separated from their homeland.

Lisa Hupp/USFWS

 

It’s been 75 years since thousands of young soldiers lost their lives fighting over the westernmost point of the United States. Seventy-five years since the Alaska Native people of Attu were taken from their homes never to return again.

 

This weekend, former Attu residents, as well as veterans of the Aleutian campaign and descendants of the Japanese soldiers joined together to commemorate the tragedy and honor the legacy of those lost.

 

 

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