Aleut Story

Project Advisors

The Aleut Story team thanks the many people who assisted with production by offering their subject expertise and technical advise. A full list of advisors is included on the Credits & Acknowledgements page.

Among the key project advisors:

Tetsuden Kashima, Ph.D
University of Washington, Seattle
Professor, American Ethnic Studies
Adjunct Professor, Sociology
Member, Canadian Studies Faculty

Publications: Judgment Without Trial: Japanese American Imprisonment during World War II (University of Washington Press, 2002). Buddhism in America: The Social Organization of an Ethnic Religious Institution, Westport CT: (Greenwood Press, 1977)

Tetsuden Kashima, who was interned as a child at a camp in Topaz, Utah, is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the United States internment of civilians.

As Aleut Story was researched and written, filmed and edited, Prof. Kashima guided us through the extremely complicated workings of the laws and administration of the internment program, and offered valuable insights into the motivations for internment and the consequences to both individuals and our larger society.

Aquilina Lestenkof
Aleut Culturalist

Ms. Lestenkof, a life long resident of St. Paul Island, Alaska and daughter of an internment survivor, is the recipient of numerous national and regional awards for her cultural, humanitarian and environmental work including the national 2006 Women of Discovery Eva Haller Award for Humanity.

As co-director of the Ecosystem Conservation Office of the Tribal Government of St. Paul Island, she has been honored for her innovative use of both science and knowledge of the native Aleut community to enhance the well being of the people and wildlife of the Bering Sea.

Ms. Lestenkof provided crucial introductions to both the land and the people, oral and written cultural histories, and indispensable personal insights regarding the inter-generational consequences of the internment.

Ray Hudson
Author, Artist

Publications: Moments Rightly Placed: An Aleutian Memoir. (EpiCenter Press, 1998)

Ray Hudson is widely known and loved throughout the Aleutians for deep appreciation of Aleut culture. Arriving in Unalaska in 1964, Mr. Hudson embraced the islands’ past and present and began what would be a lasting relationship with the people. A teacher, Mr. Hudson taught generations of young Aleut Americans — and learned from their parents and grandparents. He is well known for his woodblock prints and his basketry, which he learned from master weavers. He was co-curator with the Museum of the Aleutians and Carolyn Reed of the exhibit “Returned by Place”.

As Aleut Story developed, Mr. Hudson served as a valuable touchstone for the project — providing essential understanding of the subject and encouragement for the producers.

Barbara Sweetland Smith

Publications: Sure Foundation: Aleut Churches in World War II. (Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Association, 1994). Heaven on Earth: Orthodox Treasures of Siberia and North America (Anchorage Museum of History and Art, 1994).

An expert on the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska, Ms. Sweetland Smith is also well-versed in Aleut history. She provided crucial information regarding the church and its role during World War II, reviewed the script and asked hard questions that contributed to a better story.