Background has many voices. within the phrases of Russian fur service provider Grigorii Shelikhov, who led the conquest of Kodiak Island, Alaska, in 1784 and sought to subjugate its indigenous Qikertarmiut inhabitants, "the arrival of the Russians of their land had introduced them innumerable merits, safety, and prosperity" (Shelikhov 1981:121). Arsenti Aminak, a Qiker tarmiut elder in 1851, held a unique view. He recalled a Russian send that visited the island a number of years ahead of Shelikhov as a "strange monster, by no means obvious prior to, which we feared and whose stench made us ill. " In 1784, the lifeless of his humans lay at the seashore at a spot known as A'wauq that means "to turn into numb" -where 1000's were killed through Skeli khov's cannon and muskets (Holmberg 1985:57-59). The Russian hunters who outfitted the Shelikhov-Golikov Company's first outpost on Kodiak Is land, at a small cove they known as Gavan Trekh Svetitelei (as normally translated, "Three Saints Harbor"), recalled their very own miseries and de spair: "We . . . spent the iciness in ceaseless labors and . . . suffered nice shortages and genuine famine . . . . Many shriveled fever, scurvy, and different ills, and died" (Pierce 1976:75). Eyewitness statements approximately what occurred on Kodiak Island dur ing the Russian conquest and early years of colonial rule are vital, yet infrequent. They characterize the reports and perspectives of some people who lived via a time of turbulent swap and stressful touch among disparate cultures.
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