THE UNEGKURMIUT AND THEIR CULTURALLY AFFILIATED NEIGHBORS
The ancestry of current Port Graham and Nanwalek residents is a mixture of Alu'utiq (Pacific Eskimo), American Indian, Aleut, Russian, Euro-American, and Asian ancestry. This is a result of intermarriages which occurred among the Natives and different cultural groups, primarily following Euro-American occupation of the area. Most of the Native residents trace their heritage to places along the Gulf of Alaska, including Nuchek, Tatitlek, and Chenega in Prince William Sound; Kodiak and Afognak Islands; Resurrection, Aialik, Yalik, Rocky, Windy, Chugach, and Koyuktolik Bays, and Port Chatham on the lower Kenai Peninsula coast; and Nanwalek, Port Graham, Seldovia, and other Cook Inlet communities.
The indigenous inhabitants of the lower and outer Kenai Peninsula are the Alu'utiq, also known as the Pacific Eskimo or Suqpiaq. The Native language of the region is also called Alu'utiq, or Sugcestun. It is a member of the Eskimo family of languages and can be split into two mutually intelligible dialects: Koniag Alu'utiq and Chugach Alu'utiq. The former is spoken on Kodiak Island and along the Pacific coast of the Alaska Peninsula. Chugach Alu'utiq is the dialect spoken by the Native people of Port Graham, Nanwalek, and Seldovia; in former communities along the outer coast of the Kenai Peninsula; and in Prince William Sound communities (Leer 1978:3; Woodbury 1984:53).
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