The History of Chignik Lagoon

Chignik Lagoon is located on the south shore of the Alaska Peninsula, five and one-half miles west of Chignik. It lies at approximately 56 20' N Latitude, 158 29' W Longitude (Sec. 23, T044S, R059W, Seward Meridian). The community is located in the Aleutian Islands Recording District. The area encompasses 12 sq. miles of land and 0 sq. miles of water.

Chignik Lagoon took its name from its location and proximity to Chignik, the Aleut word for "wind." The Chignik area was originally populated by Kanaigmuit Eskimos. After the Russian occupation, the intermarriage of the Kaniags and Aleuts produced the Koniags who now reside here. The people of this era were sea-dependent, living on otter, sea lion, porpoise, and whale. During the Russian fur boom from 1767 to 1783, the sea otter population was decimated. This, in addition to disease and warfare, reduced the Native population to less than half its former size. It has developed as a fishing village.

To Community Histories Index Alaska DCCED Community Database Online

History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development