of the Alutiiq Heritage Foundation met with Alutiiq Museum staff yesterday
during their annual meeting to discuss various projects the museum is working
on. The Foundation is the governing body for the museum and board members are
representatives from various Native corporations across the island. In the newly designated Alutiiq studies room at
the Kodiak College, board members listened to presentations ranging from
financial figures to "in the dirt" archaeology that keeps the museum running.
Saltonstall is the curator for the museum and told the board that it was an
exciting year for field work with multiple site discoveries and loads of
archaeological work to be had.
Meeting 1 :25 "This I the most
archaeological work we've done in a year, I think it's safe to say. I'm going
to break it up, because we've done a lot of contracts this year too for like
Old Harbor Native Corp, Koniag, these are things where we get paid to like, so
like Koniag they need to make sure no sites are being disturbed for their
granite area....Those are the types of archaeology we've been doing this past
community archaeology site is what Saltonstall calls the Amak site, a 4,000-7,000
year old settlement in Womens Bay that hunters pursued sea mammals from. He
said there were three students and 17 community members that participated in
that dig this year and all were rewarded with the discovery of a 5,600-year-old
smokehouse. He said the structure could very well be the oldest discovered on
the island, and said the truly unique part is that it appears to have been used
for smoking seal meat, not fish.
was far from the only one with exciting news to share with the board. April
Laktonen Counceller is now the volunteer language program manager for the
museum and announced her full time position with Kodiak College facilitating
the brand new Alutiiq Studies Program. She said she still volunteers for the
museum regularly, both on her own time and one day a week as part of her Kodiak
College service time. She said she is pleased to serve as a go between for the
college and the museum.
Meeting 2 :45 "The museum and the college
have already been really good collaborators over the years....Right now we have
two sections of Alutiiq 101, the face to face session has 11 students and the
distance session has 13 students so I have 24 people learning Alutiiq language right
she said the Alutiiq Studies Program would not be possible without the
resources and work that the Alutiiq Museum generously provides.
Haakanson is the executive director of the museum and wrapped up the
presentation to the board by saying he's proud to share the work the museum has
done and hopes to continue that sharing process in the years to come.
Meeting 3 :22 "And as you listen to my
staff, with archaeology, with language, with collections, all of that is
important because once we are able to combine that information, we share it
with our community. I ties all of that history to who we are as a people here
on Kodiak. And for me, this is our history and our past and our present and our
responsibility. And part of that responsibility is sharing information.")
members said they were appreciative for the information and please with all
that has been accomplished. Long-time board member Ruth Dawson said her
goodbyes to the board, saying that it was time for her to pass on the
responsibility, but she'll still be around to help when needed. Loretta Nelson will take her place in
representing the Afognak Native