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Aleut Community of St. Paul Island and the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government –
Who and What are They?

‘Aleut Community of St. Paul Island’ (ACSPI) is the federally designated name used to identify the community of Unangan, also known as Aleuts, residing on St. Paul Island of the Pribilof Islands of Alaska.  Further, the name ‘Aleut Community of St. Paul Island’ is a title by which the federal government of the United States of America formally recognizes “the tribe,” which is the group of people of the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, as having a time-honored common bond of living together; a nation born, living, and self-governing before the United States of America was conceived. Membership in the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island provides access to services due federally recognized tribes as governed by the laws of the United States of America.

The name ‘Aleut’ at some point in post-contact history became widely used to identify people of the archipelago presently identified as the Aleutian and Commander Islands as well as peoples on Kodiak Island and the Alaska Peninsula. History and political identification aside and with due respect, it is best to ask individuals and communities of the Aleutian, Commander, Pribilof and Kodiak Islands and Alaska Peninsula villages how best to address them.

People on the Pribilof Islands, are generationally linked to their nearly 10,000 years-old culture still in progress and developed on and influenced by the natural elements of the archipelago presently identified as the Aleutian and Commander Islands. In most recent centuries and to this day Unangan on the Pribilof Islands share common cultural roots and a social basis with fellow Unangan communities on the Aleutian-Commander Islands. Migrating to and living on the Pribilof Islands and a couple of centuries of physical separation from the Aleutian-Commander Islands resulted in the Pribilof Islands Unangan developing identifiable etymological, societal, and economical deviations that differentiate them from fellow Unangan communities still in existence on the Aleutian-Commander archipelago.

The Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government is a governmental venue through which the Unangan of St. Paul Island can fulfill their intrinsic rights and responsibilities, and support, recollect, practice, and pass on their culture; so the “tribe”- the community, can flourish and survive in today’s and tomorrow’s times. The ACSPI Government does quite well at accessing services due its members provided through federal programs.  The ACSPI Government does much in its power to provide for the wellbeing of the community; continuously thinking outside the box in a challenging strive towards developing and keeping expertise and services that contribute to social and economic security and presence on the home island.