Aleut International Association

Quick Facts

Alaska (United States), Russian Federation, Pribilof Islands (United States) and Commander Islands (Russian Federation)

Indigenous Peoples
Russian and American Aleut (Unangan)

Indigenous Population
Approximately 15,000 Aleuts in the United States and 350 Aleuts in the Russian Federation

English, Russian, Unangam Tunuu (Eastern Dialect of the Aleut Language), Niigugim Tunuu (Atkan Dialect of the Aleut Language)

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About Aleut International Association

The Aleut International Association (AIA) is a not-for-profit corporation that represents the Indigenous peoples of Aleut descent in the United States and the Russian Federation. It was created by the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA) and the Association of the Indigenous peoples of the North of the Aleut District of the Kamchatka Region of the Russian Federation (ANSARKO). AIA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of four Alaskan and four Russian Aleuts under the leadership of a president.

AIA was formed to address environmental and cultural concerns of the extended Aleut family whose wellbeing has been connected to the rich resources of the Bering Sea for millennia. Its mission is to promote continuity of culture and protect the resources needed to sustain it. The need to understand global processes, such as trans-boundary contaminants transport, the impacts of climate change and the effects of commercial fisheries on the ecosystem of the Bering Sea, to name a few, was an impetus in joining in the work of international fora where AIA is actively pursuing collaboration with governments, scientists and other organizations to improve the wellbeing of the Aleut peoples and their environment.

In addition to its status as a Permanent Participant of the Arctic Council, AIA was granted Special Consultative Status by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 2004. AIA is an accredited Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

About the Aleutian Peoples

The Unangan (Aleut) people have traditionally lived in the Aleutian Islands region of southwestern Alaska and the Commander Islands in the Russian Federation for nearly 10,000 years. Russian and American Aleuts are separated by distances, borders and the International Date Line, but united by the great Bering Sea and the North Pacific and the cultural practices that have helped the Aleut people to survive in the Aleutians.

Aleut International Association in the Arctic Council

The AIA was admitted as a permanent participant of the Arctic Council in 1998. As part of the Arctic Council framework, the AIA collaborates with Arctic States, Working Groups and other Permanent Participants with regular contributions to Chairmanship work plans. AIA has a particular interest in the ocean, and the environmental and social changes occurring in the region.

Sally Swetzof

Liza Mack

Executive Director

Visiting address
520 E 32nd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99503
+1 907-332-5388

Featured Projects

Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter

The Regional Action Plan addresses both sea and land-based activities, focusing on Arctic-specific marine litter sources and pathways that will play an important role in demonstrating Arctic States’ s...
Cod drying. Photo: iStock

Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic Region

The sustainable and intelligent use of renewable aquatic natural resources, with a focus on improving utilization and creating higher-value products.

Indigenous Youth, Food Knowledge and Arctic Change (EALLU) II

This project aims to maintain and further develop a sustainable and resilient reindeer husbandry in the Arctic in face of climate change and globalisation, working towards a vision of creating a bette...

Prevention, Preparedness and Response for small communities

EPPR has been working with small communities to improve their safety in case of an oil spill event.

Solid Waste Management in Small Arctic Communities

This project seeks to provide a number of in-person and online resources to address the unique needs of Arctic communities, from planning to implementation of solid waste management practices. Infrast...
Photo: Hjalti Hreinsson

Gender Equality in the Arctic

GEA is an international collaborative project focusing on gender equality in the Arctic, beginning in 2013. Phase 3 of the project began in 2019.
Garbage incinerator in Greenland. Photo: iStock / olli0815

Community-based black carbon and public health assessment

Assessing and mitigating the risks of black carbon to public health.
Harald Finkler

Arctic Food Innovation Cluster

Pulling together relevant people in the Arctic foods value chain for a cluster-based approach to food production and regional economic development.
Arctic Council logo

Meaningful Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Marine Activities

Meaningful Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Marine Activities (MEMA) is a cross-cutting oil & gas and shipping project which compiles and analyzes existing documents and summa...