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Bill Jager's Personal Page

Bill Jager, Alutiiq Sugpiaq Alaskan Native, US Army retired

Relaxing and sharing cookies with "Honey."

Personal Information: Native Alutiiq Alaskan

I am a United States Army Retired -- Alaska Native Veteran. I am a Alutiiq (Sugpiat) from Kodiak Island, Alaska. This web site displays images of Larsen Bay, Kodiak Island, Alaska and surrounding area. I retired twice from an occupation as a fire-fighter. First, I retired honorably from the U.S. Army after 20 years of service and retired as a Military Fire Chief (Senior Non-Commissioned Officer). Second, from Federal Civil Service (after 20 years of service) as a Captain. Now I surf the Internet in my continued quest to learn about people in different parts of the world. To learn also, why people's religions differ in different areas of the world. Since I now live in the Bible belt with many fundamentalist Christians, I research the Bible and in that research found it wanting. Look at my "Religion" page to see some of my opinions on religion.

Both the Aleut and Alutiiq are Russian words, not from the Alaskan Native language. The word Aleut means Coastal People in Russian and Alutiiq is a plural form of Russian. The proper Alaskan Native name to use for Aleut people is Unangan and the proper Alaskan Native name for the Alutiiq people is Sugpiaq. Although, I refer to my site as Alutiiq -- I am very interested in the pre-Russian culture of the people from Kodiak Island and Alaskan Peninsula.

Both of my parents were Alaska Natives that were born and raised on Kodiak Island, Alaska. My dad was born at Alitak area (Red River) in 1916 on the south end of Kodiak Island. My Mother was born at Ouzinkie in 1916. Ouzinkie is on Spruce Island, a small island about a mile off the North end of Kodiak Island. Alaska at that time was a Territory of the United States. Any white or black person born in Alaska at that time was automatically citizen of the United States. Alaska Natives born in Alaska at that time were not considered to be citizens of the United States irregardless of their birth. It was not until 1924 that my parents became citizens of the United States (Alaska was still a Territory). In 1924 Indian Citizenship Act granted citizenship to Native Americans in the United States and that including Alaska Natives.

I was born and raised in a remote coastal fishing village of Larsen Bay, Kodiak Island, Alaska. While growing up in this village, I lived off the land and with all of its magnificent nature. Most of the Alaska Natives in the village of Larsen Bay practiced a commercial fishing and subsistence lifestyle. That subsistence lifestyle depended on salmon, halibut, seal, sea lion, clams, crab and deer. At the time that I was growing up in the village there were no roads, television, telephones or an airstrip. The only access to the village was by boat or sea-plane. Today the village has a dirt road (about 2 miles long) although it still does not connect the village (the dirt road only goes from the village to the sanitary fill) to the outside world and a small airfield.

Feel free to view or download any of the pictures taken by my son Doug while on his adventurous Alaska trips to my home village of Larsen Bay, Alaska. All that is asked in return of any images downloaded; is that the images not be used commercially. Most of the pictures, except for the pictures of Chignik, Kodiak and Anchorage, Alaska are around the Larsen Bay, Alaska area. Larsen Bay is my home village and the area of my youth. Another web site that has information about Kodiak Island and excellent pictures of my childhood surroundings can be found at www.kodiak.org

This Home Page is dedicated to my son Doug, not only because he took most of the pictures and insisted that I take up HTML programming -- but because he stood up and made a difference in maintaining a separation of State & Church. More will be covered about the battle waged in maintaining the separation of State & Church in Religion


Alaska Native Peoples Background languages - history

There are twenty Alaska native peoples and languages. Eskimo-Aleut is one language family, with Aleut (Aleutian) as one branch and Eskimo as the other. There are four Eskimo languages in Alaska, three of them Yupik (Alutiiq, or [Sugpiat*], Central Yupik and Siberian Yupik) and the other Inupiaq. Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit is another language family, with the nearly extinct Eyak as one branch and all the Athabaskan languages as another. Tlingit is in some ways distantly related to both. There are eleven Athabaskan languages in Alaska differing from each other to varying degrees. Haida is a completely different language, spoken also in Canada. Tsimshian is also a completely different language, spoken mostly in Canada.

None of the Alaska native languages were written before the coming of the Russians. The first written Alaskan language was Aleut, using a Slavonic alphabet. The first Aleut books were printed in 1843. By now good writing systems have been developed for all Alaska native languages and books have been printed in most of them.

Each Alaska native language has its own intricate beauty, a highly complex and regular grammar and enormous vocabulary. The people developed these languages over the thousands of years they have lived in these areas.

Recently the history of these languages has been tragic. From about 1900 until the 1960s, native languages were severely suppressed. Children were punished for speaking their language in school. School children were forced to abandon their language in order to speak English only. In 1972, the Alaska State Legislature passed the Bilingual Education bill, giving children the right to use and cultivate their native language in school and also established the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Many important developments are now taking place now to maintain for future generations of Alaska, the precious heritage of their native languages and cultures.

The Eskimo-Aleut language family has spread far beyond Alaska: Yupik Eskimo to Siberia, Inupiaq Eskimo across Canada and Greenland, and more recently (1826) Aleut to the Commander Islands, USSR. The Athabaskan languages have also spread far beyond Alaska, through Canada, even to the Mexican border (Navajo and Apache), with several small groups (now mostly extinct) in between. The populations speaking languages of Alaskan origin are now much greater elsewhere than in Alaska itself. More recently, Tlingit has spread into Canada, and Haida and Tsimshian have spread from Canada to Alaska.


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Bill Jager

Kodiak bear, bears, Alutiiq history, language, Eskimo-Aleut, Alutiiq

Kodiak Bear

More images of Kodiak bears on: page 2 - Kodiak bear


To do right is not always popular and at times can be very unpopular. The time is long overdue for restoring the "Pledge of Allegiance" and our present currency motto to its pre 1950's status. Religion controls through fear and intimidation. Religious fear and intimidation during the McCarthy era, created the change in the "Pledge of Allegiance" and currency motto. Let's do what is right -- restore the "Pledge."

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Restore our Pledge of Allegiance



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