Borough may Donate Artifacts to Alutiiq Museum

Mitch Borden/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly will decide if it’ll donate a selection of artifacts to the Alutiiq museum at its regular meeting Thursday evening. The artifacts come from an excavation that the museum conducted on borough land in Womens Bay. They currently are on loan to the museum.

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This excavation was the fourth at the Kashevaroff site, says Amy Steffian the chief curator at the Alutiiq Museum. They found a lot of things dating back thousands of years.

“Everything from tiny blades to pieces of stone that have been chipped along the edge to make an expedient knife. To things like a projectile point. There’s an adz, for example, a woodworking tool. But for the most part these are stone tools.”

The borough has made similar donations of artifacts in the past. Steffian says this collection of relics wasn’t included because it took a while to account for everything they found.

“We typically take about a year to bring the collection in to clean it, dry it, label it, inventory it, type the inventory into the computer, and then arrange for storage.”

Currently, the borough’s in a long term loan agreement with the museum for these artifacts. But when that loan expires, it’ll take a lot of work to renew it. One of the biggest benefits of this donation is a decrease in administrative costs for both organizations, says Steffian. She also thinks that the borough making this donation would say a lot.

“Turing it to the care of the museum is a vote of confidence in the community museum. It says we recognize the Alutiiq heritage is important. We recognize the Alutiiq people have the facilities and the professional experience to care for these collections and we’d be happy to see them do that.”

The borough will vote on this decision at their regular meeting tonight.

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