Alaska Legislature passes bill protecting Unangax̂ cemetery at WWII internment site

Unangax̂ cemetery at Funter Bay (2017).
Unangax̂ cemetery at Funter Bay (2017).(KTUU)
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 12:13 PM AKDT
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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Legislature has passed legislation that would protect an Alaska Native cemetery in Funter Bay.

Hundreds of people from the Pribilof Islands were forcibly removed from their homes by the U.S. military during World War II and taken over 1,000 miles to Southeast Alaska. Without supplies and basic medical care, dozens of people died from illness and starvation, most of them were elders and young children.

There are more than 30 gravesites in the Unangax̂ cemetery on Admiralty Island.

House Bill 10 passed unanimously through the Senate on Monday morning. It would permanently protect the cemetery by adding 251 acres to the Funter Bay State Marine Park.

In 2017, the U.S. government formally apologized for its role in interning the Unangax̂ people.

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