Alaska Native Nations: The First Peoples of the Last Frontier During World War II


ACLS Fellowship Program




In centering Native voices through oral histories, accomplished by partnerships with tribal and community-based organizations, this social history of Indigenous peoples reframes our understanding of Native nations who used US empire and the military to protect their Native homeland following Japan’s invasion of the Aleutian Islands in 1942. “Alaska Native Nations” synthesizes sovereignty movements led by Indigenous Alaskan nations during war. Each chapter shows how Native people created a space of equilibrium by asserting their sovereignty following waves of colonial violence. These violences included the federal government forcing Unangax̂ into wartime relocation camps, and gender violence and segregation directed at Native women. During this time, Native nations allied with each other generating survivance alliances. Alongside this project, a related, public-facing digital humanities project, “World War II Alaska” ( integrates oral histories with elders.