Kodiak is located
near the eastern tip of Kodiak Island, south of Cook Inlet and the
Kenai Peninsula in the Gulf of Alaska. Kodiak Island, "the emerald
isle," is the largest island in Alaska, and is second only to Hawaii in
the United States. This island has been inhabited for the past
8,000 years. The first non-Native contacts were in 1763, by the Russian
Stephen Glotov, and in 1792 by Alexander Baranov, a Russian fur
trapper. Sea otter pelts were the primary incentive for Russian
exploration, and a settlement was established at Chiniak Bay, the site
of present-day Kodiak. At that time, there were over 6,500 Sugpiaqs
(Koniags) in the area and the Island was called "Kikhtak." It later was
known as "Kadiak," the Inuit word for island.
Kodiak was the first capital of Russian Alaska, and Russian
colonization had a devastating effect on the local Native population.
By the time Alaska became a U.S. Territory in 1867, the Koniag region
Eskimos had almost disappeared as a viable culture. Alutiiq
(Russian-Aleut) is the present-day Native language.
Sea otter fur harvesting was the major commercial enterprise,
and eventually led to the near extinction of the species. However, in
1882 a fish cannery opened at the Karluk spit. This sparked the
development of commercial fishing in the area.
|Two fisherman statues carry a
huge salmon in Kodiak.
The "Town of Kodiak" was incorporated in 1940. During the
Aleutian Campaign of World War II, the Navy and the Army built bases on
the Island. Fort Abercrombie was constructed in 1939, and later became
the first secret radar installation in Alaska. Development continued,
and the 1960s brought growth in commercial fisheries and fish
processing. The 1964 earthquake and subsequent tidal wave virtually
leveled downtown Kodiak. The fishing fleet, processing plant,
canneries, and 158 homes were destroyed - $30 million in damage. The
infrastructure was rebuilt, and by 1968, Kodiak had become the largest
fishing port in the United States, in terms of dollar value. The
Magnusson Act in 1976 extended the U.S. jurisdiction of marine
resources to 200 miles offshore, which reduced competition from the
foreign fleet, and over time, allowed Kodiak to develop a groundfish
federally recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Shoonaq'
Tribe of Kodiak; Kodiak Island Inter-Tribal Council (tribal
contractor). 13.1% of the population are Alaska Native or part Native.
The local culture surrounds commercial and subsistence fishing
activities. The Coast Guard comprises a significant portion of the
community, and there is a large seasonal population. Kodiak is
primarily non-Native, and the majority of the Native population are
Alutiiq. Filipinos are a large subculture in Kodiak due to their work
in the canneries. A Russian Orthodox Church seminary is based in
Kodiak, one of two existing seminaries in the U.S. The Shoonaq' Tribe
of Kodiak was federally recognized in January 2001.
is located in the Kodiak Recording District. The area encompasses
3.5 sq. miles of land and 1.4 sq. miles of water. The climate of
the Kodiak Islands has a strong marine influence. There is little or no
freezing weather, moderate precipitation, occasional high winds, and
frequent cloud cover and fog. Severe storms are common from December
through February. Annual rainfall is 67 inches, and snowfall averages
78 inches. January temperatures range from 14 to 46; July temperatures
vary from 39 to 76.
Chamber of Commerce - Kodiak Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 1485,
Kodiak, AK 99615, Phone 907-486-5557, E-mail:
City of Kodiak, 710 Mill Bay Road, Room 220, Kodiak, AK 99615, Phone
Corporation - Natives of Kodiak, Inc., 215 Mission Rd. #201, Kodiak, AK
99615, Phone 907-486-3606, E-mail:
Council - Shoonaq' Tribe of Kodiak, 713 E. Rezanof, No. B, Kodiak, AK
99615, Phone 907-486-3361
Council - Uganik Village Council, General Delivery, Uganik, AK 99697
- Kodiak Island Borough, 710 Mill Bay Road, Kodiak, AK 99615, Phone