in the Aleutians East Borough
- Area Type
- Place of Interest
- Current Population
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (un' guh)
- Community's Judicial District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
Geography and Climate
- Unga lies on the southeast coast of Unga Island, in the Shumagin Islands of the Aleutian Chain.
- Unga lies in the maritime climate zone. Temperatures range from -9 to 76 °F. Annual snowfall averages 52 inches, with total annual precipitation of 33 inches.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- The Shumagin Island group is composed of over a dozen islands and numerous islets. The largest island is called Unga. The waters surrounding the Shumagin Islands are teeming with fish, cod, halibut, in season salmon, and are rich in marine mammals, birds and shellfish. Russian explorer Feodor Lutke first reported Unga?s existence in 1836, noting its name as ?Ougnagok?. Aleuts have lived at and near the site of the village of Unga for thousands of years. Unga became an important transit center for the sea otter industry, and later walrus ivory procurement, during the Russian period (1775 to 1867). In the American period, Unga became a center for commercial sea otter hunters. Whales were always present in the Shumagins, but historically neither Aleuts nor the Euro Americans have hunted them. There is evidence, however, that in remote prehistoric times, Aleuts who inhabited these islands were whalers. Unga is rich in minerals. Some of these, predominantly slate and obsidian, were an important technological resource in prehistoric times. Others were exploited in post-contact times: coal and gold mining in the southwest and southeast areas of Alaska were pioneered at Unga. In the American period, Unga became an important administrative center. It was one of the first Alaskan Towns besides Sitka to have a United States Post Office in the 19th century. It opened in 1867, and the postal stamp was imprinted with the name ?Ounga?. A school was also established in 1867. There was a customs office, and a Federal Marshall was stationed at Unga. The first Methodist Mission in Alaska was established at Unga. Beginning in the late 1870?s Unga had a thriving fishing industry. Cod, halibut, salmon and crab were plentiful. To this day fishing supports the majority of the local population, though the industry?s center has shifted to Sand Point, the only Shumagin community with a sizable population. The last family to leave the community of Unga Village left in 1969.
- Unga is no longer occupied year-round. Most of the shareholders now live in Sand Point. There has been an interest in revitalizing the village, as evidenced by the erection of a new building in 2002.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Unga
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Number of Commercial Fishing Permit Holders
- Number of Commercial Fishing Permits Issued
- CDQ Participant
- Gallon of Heating Fuel
- Gallon of Gasoline
- Float planes or boats are the only means of transportation to Unga.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District