Island Culture Today
In 1998, NOAA and its consultants and contractors commenced work to restore the structural integrity of the St. George Island sealing plant, in accordance with Public Law Number 10491. The sealing plant is listed as a contributing resource within the Seal Islands Historic District National Historic Landmark. Restoration of the sealing plant was completed in 1999.
The St. George Tanaq Corporation renovated the St. George Hotel in 2001 using crab fishery disaster relief funding. The hotel has ten rooms, accommodating up to eighteen guests, a library, and a kitchen. The federal government began construction of this structure (previously known as the company house) in 1930 and completed construction in 1931 to house unmarried employees and transients (Bower 1932, 76). It is a National Historic Landmark contributing resource.
The newest building located in the City of Saint George is the Public Safety Building. It was constructed during 2004 and 2005 using funding from the city, the State of Alaska, and the Denali Commission. The building has two jail cells, three equipment bays for fire trucks and an ambulance, an office for the village public safety officer, and a mezzanine area for training and meetings. The only newer public building on the island is the equipment storage building located at the airport and constructed in 2006.
During 20062007, several historic buildings at St. Paul Island had been restored by island entities and NOAA. The former government house was restored in 2006 by the Tanadgusix Corporation (TDX) with additional assistance from a grant. The building operates as the St. Paul Museum, and is additionally providing temporary on-island offices for TDX employees. The St. Paul Museum was conceived and developed by the St. Paul Museum Commission beginning in 2004. Members of the commission, included Julie Shane (chairperson), Dr. Doug Veltre, Dr. Lydia Black (deceased), Wanda Chin, and others, envisioned a living museum with Pribilof Islands historical displays and facilities available for cultural outreach activities. For example, elders may use the facility to teach beading, leather sewing or other traditional crafts, and to provide educational opportunities to younger generations.
During 2006, NOAA abated lead and asbestos at three former government employee houses constructed in 1924, which later became teacher houses (houses 101, 102, and 103). Following abatement, the houses underwent partial restoration. These houses, and the former government house, are contributing resources within the Seal Island Historic District National Historic Landmark.
The former electric shop, now the Head Start building, and duplex 108/109 were also abated and partially renovated in 2006 and 2007. Though these buildings are not National Historic Landmark contributing resources, NOAA took care to preserve their historical character. Under the 1984 Transfer of Property on the Pribilof Islands Agreement, also known as the Transfer of Property Agreement or the TOPA, NOAA agreed to transfer these and other buildings to local entities.
The St. Paul Tribal Government’s Business Center was opened in 2004. The tribe purchased the facility, a former medical unit at Elmendorf Air Force Base, with Crab Economic Disaster Funds and HUD Tribal Housing and Urban Development Funds. The modular facility was transported by barge to St. Paul Island in 2001. Site placement and construction took place from 2002 through 2003. The facility contains the St. Paul Tribal Government administrative offices; the Ecosystem Conservation Office; the Tribal Membership Services, including bingo, elder events, and a virtual library; Social Services; and Tribal Enterprises, including a tavern and bulk sales of beer and wine.
In January 2006, the doors to the new St. Paul Health Center facility opened. His Grace, Bishop Nikolai, traveled to St. Paul Island to bless the center. The $14.2 million center, with itinerant housing, is operated by the Aleutian Pribilof Island Association by resolution from the Aleut Community of St. Paul. It offers comprehensive medical and behavioral health services. The center is staffed with two physician assistant level providers experienced in advanced emergency medical care and four community health aide providers. Additionally, the Pribilof Counseling Center, a component of the Saint Paul Health Center, offers a range of behavioral and mental health services, as well as advocacy for elders. The Saint Paul Health Center works directly with the Alaska Native Medical Center and other Anchorage doctors utilizing telemedicine for advanced evaluations by collaborative physicians and specialty doctors.
NOAA created this product in partial fulfillment
of a memorandum of agreement between it and the Alaska State Historic