The Native Village of Akutan is located on Akutan Island in the eastern Aleutians, one of the Krenitzin Islands of the Fox Island group. The area encompasses 14 sq. miles of land and 4.9 sq. miles of water.
Official Tribal Name: Native Village of Akutan
Address: PO Box 89,Akutan, AK 99553-0089
Phone: (907) 698-2300
Recognition Status: Federally Recognized
US Culture Region: Subarctic
Alaskan Ethnic Group: Unangan (Aleut)
Alaskan Native Culture: Akutan is a fishing community, and is the site of a traditional Unangan village. Approximately 100 persons are year-round residents; the majority of the population are transient fish processing workers that live in group quarters.
Alaska Geographical Region: Alutiiq Region
Alaska Borough / Census Area: Aleutians East Borough Official Borough Website
Alaska Native Regional Corporation: Aleut Corporation, (Official Website)
Alaskan Village Corporation: Akutan Corporation
Alaska Native Association: Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Inc
Their language is a member of the Eskimo-Aleut family, which branches into the Eskimo and Aleut language branches, and then two Aleut dialects.
Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:
Unanga – The people’s traditional name for themselves, meaning “original people.”
Unanganin – Plural form of Unanga
Unangan – Another traditional name for themselves, meaning “Seasider.”
Unangax̂ – Plural form of Unangan.
Alternate Names / Spellings:
Aleut – Russian fur traders gave the name Aleut to the Unanganin the mid-18th century. Aluet also refers to either or both dialects of their language.
It lies at approximately 54d 08m N Latitude, 165d 46m W Longitude (Sec. 11, T070S, R112W, Seward Meridian. It is 35 miles east of Unalaska, and 766 air miles southwest of Anchorage.
Akutan began in 1878 as a fur storage and trading port for the Western Fur & Trading Company. The company’s agent established a commercial cod fishing and processing business that quickly attracted nearby Unangan to the community.
A Russian Orthodox church and a school were built in 1878. Alexander Nevsky Chapel was built in 1918 to replace the original structure.
The Pacific Whaling Company built a whale processing station across the bay from Akutan in 1912. It was the only whaling station in the Aleutians, and operated until 1939.
After the Japanese attacked Unalaska in June 1942, the U.S. government evacuated Akutan residents to the Ketchikan area.
The village was re-established in 1944, although many villagers chose not to return.
This exposure to the outside world brought many changes to the traditional lifestyle and attitudes of the community. The City was incorporated in 1979.
The population was 1,027 at the 2010 census.
Climate and Topography:
Akutan lies in the maritime climate zone, with mild winters and cool summers. Mean temperatures range from 22 to 55. Precipitation averages 28 inches per year. High winds and storms are frequent in the winter, and fog is common in the summer.
Transportation Services and Facilities:
Boats and amphibious aircraft are the only means of transportation into Akutan. The State Ferry operates from Kodiak bi-monthly between May and October.
Cargo is delivered weekly by freighter from Seattle; the village owns and operates a landing craft, the M/V Akutan.
Akutan has no airstrip due to the steep terrain, however, a seaplane base is available. Daily air service is provided from nearby Unalaska. High waves may limit accessibility during winter months.
Local Governmental Services:
Other Services and Utilities:
Water is supplied by a local stream and dam, originally constructed in 1927. Water is treated and piped into all homes. Funds have been requested to develop two new water catchment dams, and construct a new 125,000-gal. water storage tank and treatment plant. Trident Seafoods operates its own water, sewer and electric facilities.
Sewage is piped to a community septic tank, with effluent discharge through an ocean outfall.
Refuse is collected three times a week; a new landfill site and incinerator were recently completed.
The village recycles aluminum.
The Akutan School serves grades PK to 12. In 2013, it had 13 students.
Employment / Economy:
Commercial fish processing dominates Akutan’s cash-based economy, and many locals are seasonally employed.
Trident Seafoods operates a large processing plant west of the village for cod, crab, pollock and fish meal. The population of Akutan can double during processing months.
Seven residents hold commercial fishing permits, primarily for halibut and other groundfish.
Subsistence foods include seal, salmon, herring, halibut, clams, wild cattle, and game birds.
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