Alaska (United States), Russian Federation, Pribilof Islands (United States) and Commander Islands (Russian Federation)
Russian and American Aleut (Unangan)
Approximately 15,000 Aleuts in the United States and 350 Aleuts in the Russian Federation
English, Russian, Unangam Tunuu (Eastern Dialect of the Aleut Language), Niigugim Tunuu (Atkan Dialect of the Aleut Language)
The Aleut International Association (AIA) is a not-for-profit corporation that represents the Indigenous peoples of Aleut descent in the United States and the Russian Federation. It was created by the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA) and the Association of the Indigenous peoples of the North of the Aleut District of the Kamchatka Region of the Russian Federation (ANSARKO). AIA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of four Alaskan and four Russian Aleuts under the leadership of a president.
AIA was formed to address environmental and cultural concerns of the extended Aleut family whose wellbeing has been connected to the rich resources of the Bering Sea for millennia. Its mission is to promote continuity of culture and protect the resources needed to sustain it. The need to understand global processes, such as trans-boundary contaminants transport, the impacts of climate change and the effects of commercial fisheries on the ecosystem of the Bering Sea, to name a few, was an impetus in joining in the work of international fora where AIA is actively pursuing collaboration with governments, scientists and other organizations to improve the wellbeing of the Aleut peoples and their environment.
In addition to its status as a Permanent Participant of the Arctic Council, AIA was granted Special Consultative Status by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 2004. AIA is an accredited Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The Unangan (Aleut) people have traditionally lived in the Aleutian Islands region of southwestern Alaska and the Commander Islands in the Russian Federation for nearly 10,000 years. Russian and American Aleuts are separated by distances, borders and the International Date Line, but united by the great Bering Sea and the North Pacific and the cultural practices that have helped the Aleut people to survive in the Aleutians.
The AIA was admitted as a permanent participant of the Arctic Council in 1998. As part of the Arctic Council framework, the AIA collaborates with Arctic States, Working Groups and other Permanent Participants with regular contributions to Chairmanship work plans. AIA has a particular interest in the ocean, and the environmental and social changes occurring in the region.
520 E 32nd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99503
Okalena Patricia Lekanoff-Gregory