Resources Database


Spheres of Wellbeing 



The Great Alaska Earthquake
& Tsunami of 1964


Particularly for the communities of Kaguyak and Afognak, which were destroyed during the 1964 earthquake and tsunami, Elders tell of their sorrow at the disconnection they experience from their home communities in the aftermath. Just as Elder Nina Olsen said during a student interview in “Growing Up in Afognak” within the second issue of the Iluani (1976) project, “As I get older I think of these times and I wish I could just live back there again” (p. 7). The same is true for those who today suffer a physical ailment that requires them to live in Kodiak or Anchorage close to medical care, rather than their home village, as well as for those who must live away because of economic, education or wellbeing reasons. With over half of the Kodiak Alutiiq nation now living off-island, this same longing is frequently a reminder that something is missing from their lives. The connection to the land, sea and their heritage often calls them home or leads them to seek resources that will remind them of this connection wherever they may be on the planet. As Alutiiq Elders say, “This is the land that we belong to, not the land that belongs to us” (Retrieved from

There are many stories and accounts collected about Kodiak Island resident's experience of the 1964 earthquake and tsunami:

Red Cedar of Afognak: A Driftwoods Journey children's book and curriculum

YouTube Video of Aftermath of the 1964 Earthquake & Tsunami

[more to come...]