Alaska Native Experiences

Unangax̂ and Aleut - people of the Aleutians

 

Master seafarers, superb artists, accomplished surgeons, and skilled hunters. The Unangax̂ people have not only survived the fierce weather of the Bering Sea for over 10,000 years, they have thrived there, building a sophisticated culture interwoven with their unique environment. During and after the war they faced new challenges including imprisonment, relocation, and loss of their ancestral villages.

Discover their stories through the experiences, places, and publications below.

 

Experiences

 

Publications

  • Black and white photo of village as seen from water. Text: Forced to Leave

    Aleutian Voices: Forced to Leave

    The [Unangax] were...the first and only people in Alaska to be assaulted by our own government and an enemy foreign power in WWII. (pdf)

  • Sepia-toned cover with boy on soldier's back. Text: Attu Boy, Nick Golodoff.

    Attu Boy

    The wartime experiences of Nick Golodoff, a six-year-old Attuan boy who was taken prisoner by the Japanese in World War II. (pdf)

  • Book cover with people walking through grass and blue sky.

    Lost Villages of the Eastern Aleutians

    Perhaps the most profound impacts of World War II were on three small traditional Unangax̂ villages: Biorka, Kashega, and Makushin. (pdf)

  • Green book cover with black and white photo of people on boat.

    World War II Aleut Relocation Camps

    This series focuses on the places, using archival material and oral history to supplement onsite observation and photography at each site.

  • Group of people in rain great holding a white cross beside an old building in a green field.

    The Beginning of Memory

    The following oral histories provide many details about life in Makushin, Kashega, & Biorka as remembered by people who were children then.

  • Junior ranger booklet cover with drawing of men examining a map

    Be a Junior Ranger!

    If you love history, cultures or far-away places, you need to check out the Aleutian World War II Junior Ranger program.

 

Places

  • People in a grassy field with a Russian cross

    The Lost Villages

    Biorka, Kashega, and Makushin, three villages surviving centuries of change only to disappear during World War II.

  • Map of Alaska's Aleutian Islands with colorful arrows on it showing removals.

    Maps of Forcible Removal

    In the story of the Aleutians theater during World War II, there is a central theme - people being forcibly removed from their homes.

 
Loading results...

    Last updated: August 5, 2021

    Park footer

    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    Affiliated Areas, Alaska Regional Office
    National Park Service
    240 W 5th Avenue

    Anchorage , AK 99501

    Phone:

    907 644-3472

    Contact Us

    Stay Connected