Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

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Unalaska Montage

The Alaska Communities of Memory Project was a statewide effort from 1994-1996 funded by the Alaska Humanities Forum to provide an opportunity for people in communities around Alaska to share memories of their community and to reflect on what made their community special. These gatherings were held in BethelFairbanksHomerJuneau, Kenai-Soldotna, Kotzebue, NomeUnalaska, and Wasilla.

This Jukebox, also funded by the Alaska Humanities Forum, highlights some of the storytelling from Unalaska, Alaska on April 26 and 27, 1996, where people told stories about their life in Unalaska, the sense of community there, and what makes it a special place to live.

Click on a picture below to access a person's interview.

People

Bob Allen Bob Allen Bob Allen was a long-time resident of Unalaska, Alaska, who participated in the Unalaska Communities of Memory storytelling event in 1996.
Emil Berikoff Emil Berikoff Sr.

Emil William Berikoff . Sr. was born in Wrangell, Alaska in 1944. He grew up and lived the rest of his life in Unalaska, Alaska. He worked as an equipment operator, was a commercial fisherman, was president of the Unalaska Native Fisherman's Association and Ounalashka Corporation, and was involved in the Aleut Corporation. He was married to Harriet Berikoff. Emil also was known for carrying on Aleut traditions by making ... Read More

Harriet Berikoff Harriet Berikoff Harriet Berikoff was born in King Cove, Alaska in 1946 to Harry and Agnes Gould. She moved to Unalaska in August of 1965 after marrying her husband, Emil Berikoff, Sr. She is an artist of traditional Alutiiq art forms and teaches classes in cultural crafts, such as making beaded headdresses. Harriet also is active in her community; she has served as a board member of the King Cove Corporation and been involved with the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association.
Benjamin Golodoff Benjamin Golodoff Benjamin John Golodoff was an Alutiiq elder. He was born in 1933 in Unalaska, Alaska, and lived there all of his life. He worked as a commercial fisherman and crabber, served in the U.S. Army and Alaska National Guard, and was a board member of Ounalashka Corporation. He was an active subsistence hunter and fisherman who followed his Aleut traditions by generously sharing his harvest with other members of the community. He also fought for Alaska Native land rights. Benjamin Golodoff died on... Read More
Milt and Cora Holmes Milt and Cora Holmes

Milt and Cora Holmes are Alaska sheep ranchers and long-time residents of Unalaska, Alaska. They lived on a remote sheep ranch at Chernofski for seventeen years, but eventually moved into Unalaska to be closer to family. Milt kept a detailed daily journal of the weather and their activites at the ranch. Originally from Northern Idaho, Cora was trained as a nurse, specializing in neonatal intensive care. She began a career as a writer in 1985, when her article " Living On An Aleutian Sheep... Read More

Ray Hudson Ray Hudson

Ray Hudson lived in Unalaska, Alaska from 1964 until 1991. He has lived in Middlebury, Vermont since 1992. Ray was an art and history teacher in Unalaska. He is an artist, historian, musician, and author. He encouraged interest in the Unangan form of basketweaving and became one of the foremost weavers of Unangan baskets. He has helped document the history of Unalaska and Aleut culture in writing such books as Moments Rightly Placed: An Aleutian Memoir, and Family After All: Alaska... Read More

Augie Kochuten Augie Kochuten Augie Kochuten is a long-time resident of Unalaska, Alaska. She has lived in remote places near Unalaska, has fished commercially, and has worked as a case worker for the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association's Tribal Child Support Program. She also has been active in the community, including with the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, the Unalaska Dutch Harbor Fish and Game Advisory Committee, and the Unalaska City Council.
Margaret Lekanoff Margaret Lekanoff Margaret Lekanoff was originally from Unalaska, Alaska but was adopted away from the community when she was five years old. At age fifteen, she moved back to Unalaska from Cordova, Alaska where she was living with her parents Bert and Shirley Vahlbusch. This was an important move in re-connecting with her Aleut heritage. Margaret was the Unalaska City School's Registrar/Secretary for 22 years before retiring in 2009. Since 1980, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Ounalashka... Read More
Leonty Merculieff Leonty Merculieff Leonty Merculieff was an Aleut elder who grew-up in Unalaska, Alaska, where he participated in subsistence activities and commercial fishing. He lived in Unalaska until his passing in 2002 at the age of 66.
Sharon O'Malley Sharon O'Malley Sharon O'Malley moved to Unalaska, Alaska in 1982 for a job as a cook on a Bering Sea fishing boat. After working as a teacher's aide for six years, she received her teaching degree from the University of Alaska. She is now a third grade teacher. She plays the guitar and is an active singer/songwriter in the local Dutch Harbor/Unalaska music scene. She also raised two daughters in Unalaska.
Michaella Phillips Michaella Phillips Michaella Phillips arrived in Unalaska, Alaska in 1978 on a crab fishing boat from Kodiak, Alaska. Due to a strike in the fishing community, she ended up staying. She has worked for the City of Unalaska, Department of Parks, Culture and Recreation.
Rufina Shaishnikoff Rufina Shaishnikoff Rufina Shaishnikoff is a long-time resident of Unalaska, Alaska. She grew up in a family of commercial fishermen and participated in local subsistence activities, such as seal hunting. She continues to speak her Native Aluutiq language.
Maria Turnpaugh Maria Turnpaugh Maria Turnpaugh was a respected Unangan elder who was born in Unalaska, Alaska in 1927 to Joe and Agnes Chagin. In 1942, Maria and her family were forced to evacuate Unalaska when it was attacked by the Japanese. She spent the next three years in an internment camp in Southeast Alaska before returning to Unalaska in 1945. Maria is known for her art and commitment to preserving the history of the Aleutians. Her grandfather was a chief and a warden in the Russian Orthodox church, and as a child... Read More

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