A book released April 3 by the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak traces the history of the Kodiak Alutiiq/Sugpiaq people over seven millennia.  

The 188-page, five-chapter paperback is titled “Imaken Ima’ut—From the Past to the Future,” and its creation was funded by a grant to the Koniag Native corporation (a sustaining funder of the museum) by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. 

“A few years ago, the museum held a tribal summit where we shared Alutiiq history,” said April Laktonen Counceller, the Alutiiq Museum’s executive director and one of the book’s authors. “We gave presentations to delegates from ten Tribes and then asked what the museum should be sharing. Up to that point, we’d focused on teaching about Alutiiq traditions and had not delved into recent history. Many people were surprised by what they learned and everyone urged us to tell a fuller Alutiiq story. That discussion was part of the impetus for this book.” 

The book covers the importance of tribal histories, the Russian conquest of Kodiak, how Western policies and systems affected Native peoples in the area, and the Alutiiq cultural renaissance. 

The Alutiiq history in the book is told by Kodiak scholars and with Alutiiq perspectives. The book was written, edited, and designed by four museum staff members. 

The book includes over two hundred images from the museum’s collections. 


“We designed the book to be engaging and accessible,” said Counceller. “It is carefully researched by our team and then presented in a way that makes the information understandable. We believe it will be a valuable resource for Alaska history classes. ‘Imaken Ima’ut’ brings Alutiiq history to life, and we know that’s important for Native youth. Our children do better in school when they see their heritage reflected in their lessons.” 

Copies of the book are being distributed for free to Kodiak schools, Native organizations, libraries, as well as the museum’s educational partners. A free, downloadable e-book is available on the museum’s website at https://alutiiqmuseum.org/museum/publications/, and visitors to the museum’s store can purchase a paper copy for $25.