The Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska has held status as a federally recognized
sovereign nation of the United States since 1989. Long before the federal
recognition of tribal status, the Unangan have provided services to their people
as Unangan values dictate.
The word Aleutian and the name "Aleut" was given to the native people by the
first Russian explorers to visit the Aleutian Islands. Its meaning is unclear,
so the present-day Natives of Unalaska and most of the Aleutian Islands prefer
to call themselves Unangan, or the people of the passes. In the dialect of the
eastern Aleutian Islands, the self-given term for this group of Native peoples
is Unangan; in the western dialect, Unangas. Collectively, Unangax^ (with the
"^" positioned directly over the "x") is the proper term for the Native people
of the Aleutian region. This group of hunters, whalers and fishers are the
original inhabitants of the Aleutian Island Chain, predating the Russian
settlement of the region by thousands of years.
The mission statement of the Qawalangin Tribe
states: The Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska, a federally recognized sovereign
nation, vows to exercise its powers to further the economic and social
well-being of all its members, and in so doing, will safeguard and support the
Unangan language, culture, customs and traditions for those generations to
The Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska is represented on the ABSI LCC Steering Committee by William "Buzz" Lekanoff, Tribal Council Member.