Kodiak's Sun'aq Tribe Comes Together with Coast Guard Base in Signing of Memorandum of Understanding

A ceremony was carried out on the Coast Guard Base in Kodiak on Wednesday complete with a signing of memorandum as well as a performance of several songs and dances.

On Wednesday, a joint cooperation agreement was signed between the United States Coast Guard and the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak.

The memorandum formalizes the joint relationship between the two entities to promote positive communication and cooperation on cultural, environmental, and community issues of importance.


“This relatively new relationship has allowed success in several areas and we are pleased about the mutually beneficial use of the property,” said Capt. Jerald Woloszynski, commanding officer Coast Guard Base Kodiak. “The Coast Guard looks forward to future engagement with the Sun’aq tribe.”

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding concerned improving cooperation between the two entities over the 21,000 acres of Federal land that was withdrawn for use by the military in 1939. These lands were used historically by the Alutiiq people. The Sun’aq tribe of Kodiak is the federally recognised Alaska Native tribal government in Kodiak and surrounding area that includes the Coast Guard Base.

Coast Guard/Sun'aq Signing

Coast Guard/Sun’aq Signing Ceremony

Capt. Jerald Woloszynski, commanding officer Coast Guard Base Kodiak, and Patricia Pruitt, chairwoman Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak, stand with members of the Coast Guard and the tribe following the signing of a memorandum of understanding at Coast Guard Base Kodiak, Alaska, Feb. 27, 2013. The memorandum formalizes the joint relationship between the two entities to promote positive communication and cooperation on cultural, environmental, and community issues of importance. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Sara Francis.

“The MOU is historic and an important next step in our close relationship with the Coast Guard as it relates to our membership’s ancestral lands under their jurisdiction,” said Patricia Pruitt, tribal chairwoman, Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak. “It will foster further cooperative analysis of past environmental impacts on those lands and the potential for future cooperative efforts with the Coast Guard. We applaud the Coast Guard for its leadership in bringing this about.”

Several songs and dances were also performed for members of the Coast Guard base by the Alutiiq Dancers of Kodiak.

This signing ceremony is only the latest of interactions between the two entities. last June, the Coast Guard was recognized for their part in helping with the commemoration of the sinking of the Phyllis S in 1942. Two members of the tribe were lost in that sinking. It was at the June gathering that the Sun’aq tribe added the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR as an honorary ship of the Sun’aq tribe.

In November, the Coast Guard Cutter hosted a lunch for members of the tribe as part of Native American History month.