Native American Tribes Nations and Confederacies: Aleut

Aleut are the native inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands and West Alaska.

Like the Eskimo, the Aleuts are racially similar to Siberian peoples and their language is a member of the Eskimo-Aleut family.

When they were first noted by Vitus Jonassen Bering in 1741, their estimated population was between 20,000 and 25,000 but because of their skill in hunting sea mammals, the Aleuts were exploited by Russian fur traders throughout the coastal waters of the Gulf of Alaska, and sometimes as far south as California.

The ruthless policies of the traders combined with the continual conflicts with the fierce mainland natives reduced their population by the end of the 18th century to barely one tenth its former size. Despite this, their numbers had increased to almost 24,000 in the United States by 1990.

The Aleut tribe continue to live in relative isolation and most are members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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