Native Village of Atka

Mailing Address

Atka, AK


Cultural History

For not less than two thousand years, the Atka Village has been the major dwelling place of the Unanas. These Unangas people are known to be speakers of the western dialect. These people were also known to be the "Aleuts" during the Russian era. These people have also been the subject of archeological artifacts who reveal that there have been traces of this race since the prehistoric times. The first recorded encounter, however, was in the year 1747. It was during this year when the Russians discovered the area thus making it as the center for the trading industry. The Atka Village served both as a refuge and as a safe harbor for the weary Russian traders as well as those who are in search for a resting place. There was a recorded slavery in the year 1781 when a good number of hunters were captured and shipped to the Pribilofs so as to serve in the fur trade and the harvest. It was only in the 1860's when the formal town site was settled. Even after the end of the sea otter hunting period in the late eighteenth century, the Atka people were left with nothing as a source of living. They did not have any cash which was the primary tool for the economic growth. It was in 1914 when reindeer was introduced to the tribe and it served as a blessing in disguise because of the usefulness of the reindeers. The tribe has once again regained their name in the society but this time, because of their fox farming which was then relatively unpopular. The Japanese sued the Unalaska seizing the Attu and the Kiska on June of the year 1942. Because of the disaster, the United States government had to remove the tribe from their dwellings and relocate them in a safer place. The government brought the Atka residents to the Ketchikan area. When the Japanese-American dispute came to an end, the Atka Vilage was rebuilt and the tribal people were allowed to return to their homeland. They were not alone as many of the prisoners who were Attu villagers decided to join them after gaining freedom from the Japanese government. The tribal people's exposure to the cultures created a drastic change in the traditional way of living and culture of the tribe. It was then in the year 1988 when the City was finally incorporated.

The tribe is now a federally-acknowledged group of Native Americans known as the Native Village of Atka IRA. 91.3% of the overall population is made up of Natives while the rest are mixed cultures. The housing units in the year 2000 were forty one, while the census date of the same year revealed that fifty six members were employed. Their community has recently developed a housing area. Their economy relies on Haibut fishery and the Atka Pride Seafoods.

Featured Tribal News

No featured news.