"Basket Weaver" by Unangax artist Gertrude Svarny. Gertrude began her art career relatively late and quickly became well known. This is my personal favorite that came from a shoot that required many takes and patience. LM wrote in 1985 "Basket Weaver" reminds us of historic values laid down by our Unangax (Aleut) Elders. Photographer Gary Hagness captured a mood that is both calming and reflective of the central role of Unangan women contribute in our villages. Basket Weaver Media: Whalebone, ryegrass, ivory.
Who We Are The Aleut Elder is a portal for knowledge about Unangan culture, history and language, Our education and advocacy are built around core values. Our passion is to bring forward Unangan values by connecting to our forebears. These values are trusting, caring, sharing and hard work. The Aleut Elder intends to strengthen the social fabric of Unangan people. Please visit our Facebook page, The Aleut Voice. It is a public site dedicated to culture, language, history and social posts.
Our Mission The Aleut Elder will educate and share meaningful information from an elder's perspective by combining research and personal experiences.
What We Do
The Aleut Elder develops educational resources that cross generations. To that end we research, write, publish and network. The Aleut Elder supports and encourages Unangan writers, artists, storytellers and linguists.
The Aleut Elder will advocate candidly in support of Unangan shareholder's interests connected with ANCSA—The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
We have 4 projects under way. The first encompasses 5 years of research that includes about 100 years of significant events including fur seal harvesting (1850-1955) World War II and the internment of 881 Unangan from 9 villages. The Pribilof Island history focuses on health care and education/learning in my village of St. George. I examine the Pribilof Islands as a closed society existing principally for harvesting fur seals to generate millions of dollars for the United States Treasury. An education overview of America's Native Tribes somewhat parallels education in Unangan villages.
The WWII evacuation and internment of Unangan (Aleuts) from 9 villages in our region has taken up a significant part of a manuscript, currently demanding the most attention. The unfair and racially based treatment of Unangan-American citizens by the U. S. Military and the U. S. Interior Department bureaucrats provides a closer look at how the evacuation indecision sealed our fate. The decision was bounced around between Interior Secretary Ickes, President Roosevelt, the military and Alaska's territorial governor. I spent time with my St. George family in Funter Bay at the mine across the bay from where the St. Paul Unangan were housed at the Funter Bay cannery. 10% of our beautiful Unangan people, mostly children and precious elders died. The first loss was a child that died in route to Funter Bay and buried at sea. Unangan do not bury our babies at sea.
With my third project as a shareholder, I analyze ANCSA native corporation financial and management performance based on Annual Reports, newsletters, public information and individual sources.
The fourth project is research that is basically complete for a "White Paper" titled Shareholder/Board Apathy in ANCSA Native Corporations with The Aleut Corporation being the primary corporate model.