A coloring book published last week by the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak captures many aspects of traditional Alutiiq fishing practices and Alaskan fish — including the types of fish caught, fishing seasons, and fishing tools used.

The 28-page book “Coloring Iqalluut—Fish” was written by Hanna Agasuuq Sholl, and released on July 7.

Sholl’s original drawings are featured in the book. The book also includes Alutiiq language vocabulary that was shared by Elder Alutiiq speakers.

In the press release about the book release, Sholl said she was humbled by the experience of its creation.

“It has allowed me to explore Sugpiaq fishing throughout the seasons,” she said. “The remarkable resourcefulness and adaptability exhibited by our ancestors never fail to leave me in awe. It is my sincere and humble wish that this coloring book nurtures a deeper understanding and appreciation for all ages.”

It opens with an introduction to Alutiiq history on Kodiak, and information about their traditional lifestyle. Special attention is given to fishing harvest cycles. The characteristics of salmon, rockfish, herring, cod, and halibut are shown, while traditional and contemporary fishing tools and gear are also represented.


And more than just for practicing coloring skills, it contains tidbits on subsistence practices and uses both English and Alutiiq languages. The book — which is Sholl’s second collaboration with the museum — is a mix of science and art.

“Hanna’s illustrations are lively and interesting,” said April Laktonen Counceller, the executive director of the museum in the press release. “She studied our collections, talked to staff, and pored over publications to create detailed, accurate pictures of ancestral tools and pair them with modern examples of fishing gear. The presentation illustrates how our fishing traditions continue.”

“Her beautiful, accurate drawings are popular, and they are helping us enhance awareness of our living culture,” Counceller continued.

The book was created by Sholl, Dr. Catherine West, and in conjunction with the Alutiiq Museum. Funding was provided by the North Pacific Research Board and Boston University.

The museum, which is a nonprofit and governed by representatives of Kodiak Alutiiq organizations, distributed free copies of the coloring book to schools, libraries, community organizations, and tribes. The museum store is also selling paper copies of the book for $12. A free digital download is available from the publications section of the museum’s website.

A lesson plan affiliated with the coloring book will be released for educators this August, according to the museum.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to publish this book,” Counceller said. “The fishing images are now part of the Alutiiq Museum’s permanent collection. We will be able to use them for years to come.”