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Supporting Food Security in the Archipelago

The Alutiiq/Sugpiaq people have a long tradition of harvesting the abundance of native plants that grow in the Kodiak Archipelago. For over 7,500 years the Alutiiq have been utilizing these plants for food, medicine, fuel, and as raw materials for clothing and tools.  The practice of gardening was introduced to our region by the first Russian Orthodox priests who arrived in Kodiak in the early 1800’s.  And Alutiiq villagers added traditional Siberian cool weather crops such as potatoes and cabbages to their diet. By the early twentieth century families tended to large vegetable plots to supplement their wild food harvest and store-bought groceries.  However, this subsistence gardening way of life began to decline with the introduction of purchased groceries.  Over time, our communities moved further away from our traditional Alutiiq subsistence gardening lifestyle as they became more heavily reliant on imported food and goods.

 

Today it is estimated that approximately 95% of our region’s purchased food is imported to the island via barge and ferry.  This reliance on imported food leaves our communities extremely vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and results in very low regional food security. With the support of the Kodiak Archipelago Leadership Institute, community and tribal leaders came together to address the issues of food security in our region. Since 2015, this collaborative and challenging work has resulted in the development of five individual farms in four rural villages and the city of Kodiak and continued agricultural education for all our participating farmers. This shared knowledge and unified work has transformed into Alutiiq Grown. 

Alutiiq Grown is now established as a collective of tribally or community owned farms and producers from all over the Archipelago. Our producers are growing, harvesting, and distributing fresh and healthy foods for our tribal and community members. This work is important in creating and expanding food security and sovereignty for Kodiak. Learn more about each individual farm, what they are growing, and the people involved!

The Alutiiq Grown Logo

Illustrates our region's commitment to strengthening our relationship to locally grown and harvested foods.  We cultivate with our hands, mind and heart!

Our Logo's Meaning
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Our millennia of wild harvest of salmonberries and other wild plants combines with our development of soil and hydroponic agriculture in support of healthy lifestyles and community sustainability

Kelp Beds

With wild Alaska salmon swimming through look toward our future of mariculture development

Salmon

Serves as a primary subsistence food source for our region, as important today as throughout Alutiiq history

The Petroglyph “T”

Symbolizes ancestral Alutiiq mariners who hunted from their kayaks

The Five Dots

Honor the sacred number within Alutiiq stories and ceremonial objects.  Ancestral Alutiiq cosmology featured five sky worlds and five lower worlds inhabited by different spiritual beings, including the omniscient Llam Sua (the Universe’s Spirit or Great Spirit) who lives in the fifth sky world

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