Sunday, November 16, 2008

Real People

"When the Russians came, they called everybody in Alaska 'Aleuts,' and that’s a name for indigenous people in Siberia. And so, since we looked like the people in Siberia, dark skin, dark hair, most everybody here in Alaska ended up with the name Aleut. And from that word came the word Alutiiq, and the elders decided we were going to stay with the name Aleut, and so there was a division of what we should call ourselves, so they settled on Alutiiq. But our real name is Sugpiaq, and it means the real people."
- Sugpiaq Artist Helen Simeonoff

This is a really cool quote. I did not know that the Russians called everyone here in Alaska "Aleuts", which is the name for the indigenous people in Siberia. From the word Aleut, the Alaskan Native people came up with Alutiiq. The quote by Helen Simeonoff states that Sugpiaq is their real name and it means real people.

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