Alaska natives of the Aleutian Islands. Aleuts who lived in Unalaska on the Bering Sea. A book for children.
BIOGRAPHY: I was a young boy when my family moved from the North Dakota prairies to the Pacific Northwest surrounded by fir trees. We lived in Southworth, located on Puget Sound across the bay from Seattle. It was as different as night and day and love at first sight.
Most of my time was spent out doors fishing, hanging out on the beach, or hiking the many trails of the Olympic Mountains, along with a real passion for bird watching. I have a great list of bird sightings all across the continental USA, Alaska, and Hawaii. It was a life that brought me in contact with a diverse group of people who all appreciated the wild and remote place I called home. I have also lived in Alaska and later graduated from the University of Washington. After retiring from Atlantic Richfield Co. I developed a new passion: writing. Thats where I find myself today with my wife Jan. She is my greatest fan, critic and confidant.
WHY THE BOOK WAS WRITTEN: Writing The Great Eagle Spirit was a labor of love. There has been a great resurgence and on going search for one's heritage, and none more so than the people living on the Aleutian Islands. They were called Aleuts by Russian traders, who long ago, plundered their land for otter fur. Their rich culture was ripped apart and their population declined like the otter. Today the people are proudly known as Unangan after the first people who arrived on the islands thousands of years ago. It is their story I am trying to tell.
The aim of the book is to cross over cultural lines and explain how important our ancestors are to our daily lives. We all transcend borders in our global community, and the book's message could have been written almost anywhere. The cast of characters are the same: people today and those who paved the way.
It is hoped that young readers will gain a flavor of other cultures that exist in their very own country. In the end we are all the same. We are all seeking something to hold on to and our ancestry is a good place to begin.