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English, Russian, Aleut

Russian Orthodoxy, Animism

Inuit, Yupik, Sadlermiut

The Aleuts (self-denomination from Aleut language allíthuh 'community';[2] older or regional self-denomination Unangax̂, Unangan or Unanga 'coastal people') are the indigenous people of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, United States and Kamchatka Krai, Russia.

The name Aleut was given to the Unangan by Russian fur traders in the mid 18th century.[3]



The homeland of the Aleuts includes the Aleutian Islands, the Pribilof Islands, the Shumagin Islands, and the far western part of the Alaska Peninsula. During the 19th century, the Aleuts were deported from the Aleutian Islands to the Commander Islands (now part of Kamchatka Krai) by the Russian-American Company.


After the arrival of missionaries in the late 18th century, many Aleuts became Christian by joining the Russian Orthodox Church. One of the earliest Christian martyrs in North America was Saint Peter the Aleut.

In 18th century, Russian furriers Promyshlenniki established settlements on the islands and exploited the people. (See Early history)

There was a recorded revolt against Russian workers in Amchitka in 1784. It started from the exhaustion of necessities that the Russians provided to local people in return for furs they had made. (See: Aleuts' revolt)

In 1811, in order to obtain more of the now commercially valuable otter pelts, a party of Aleut hunters traveled to the coastal island of San Nicolas, near the Alta California-Baja California border. The locally resident Nicoleño nation sought a payment from the Aleut hunters for the large number of otters being killed in the area. Disagreement arose, turning violent; in the ensuing battle nearly all Nicoleño men were killed. This, along with European diseases, so impacted the Nicoleños, that by 1853, only one living Nicoleño person remained. (See Juana Maria, The Lone Woman of San Nicolas)

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