Saint George is a second class city in the Aleutians West Census Area, located on the northeast shore of St. George Island, the southern-most of the four Pribilof Islands. Over 210 species of birds nest on the cliffs of St. George Island. It lies 47 miles south of St. Paul Island, 750 air miles west of Anchorage, and 250 miles northwest of Unalaska.

For centuries Aleuts have traveled to St. George from the mainland for hunting and fishing. In 1786, while looking for the famed northern fur seal breeding grounds, Gavril Pribilof of the Russian Lebedov Lastochkin Company became the first non-Native to travel to the island. The island was named Sveti Georgiy (St. George), and its larger neighbor to the north was originally called St. Peter and St. Paul Island. The Russian American Company enslaved Aleut hunters from Siberia, Unalaska, and Atka and relocated them to St. George and St. Paul to harvest the fur seal. Between 1870 and 1910, the U.S. Government leased the Pribilof Islands to private companies, who provided housing, food, and medical care to the Aleuts in exchange for work in the fur seal plant. In 1910, the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries took control of the islands, but poverty conditions ensued due to over-harvesting of the seals. During World War II, residents were moved to Funter Bay in Southeast Alaska as part of the areawide evacuation. Unlike other Aleutian residents, they were confined in an abandoned cannery and mine camp. In 1979, the Pribilof Aleuts received $8.5 million in partial compensation for the unfair and unjust treatment they were subjected to under federal administration between 1870 and 1946. In 1983, the U.S. government ended the commercial seal harvest and withdrew from the islands, providing $8 million to St. George to help develop and diversify the local economy. The city was incorporated in 1983. Today, residents are working to develop commercial fisheries and tourism.

St. George's population is predominantly Aleut and Eskimo. The Pribilof Island seal population and the community's dependence on it has been a major influence on the local culture. More than a million fur seals congregate on the islands every summer.

Governance: St. George was incorporated in 1983 and maintains a mayoral form of government.  Regular elections are held the first Tuesday in October.  Mayor: Patrick Pletnikoff

Infrastructure:

  • Accessible only by air and sea
  • There are two airstrips; one is owned by the city, and the other, with a 4,980' long by 150' wide gravel runway, is owned by the state.  Scheduled flights are provided to Saint Paul and the mainland.
  • Most freight and supplies are delivered by ship from Anchorage on a monthly or bimonthly schedule; cargo from Seattle arrives five or six times a year.
  • There are three docks; one is operated by the village corporation.
  • An inner harbor and dock are in Zapadni Bay, 5 miles from the city.

Education: St. George school is a member of the Pribilof School District. The school currently enrolls 13 students from preschool through twelfth grade, who are guided by a single teacher. Superintendent: Connie A. Newman

 

Contacts:

City of St. George

P.O. Box 929

St. George Island, AK 99591

Mayor - Patrick Pletnikoff

ph: (907) 859-2263

 

St. George Tanaq Corporation

4141 B Street, Suite 103

Anchorage, AK 99503

President/CEO- Leo Merculief

ph: (907) 272-9886

 

St. George Traditional Council

P.O. Box 940

St. George Island, AK 99591

President - Christopher Merculief

ph: (907) 859-2205

 

Aleutian/Pribilof Island Comm. Development Assoc.

234 Gold Street

Juneau, AK 99801

CEO - Larry Cotter

ph: (907) 586-0161

 

Utilities:

St. George Municipal Electric

P.O. Box 929

St. George Island, AK 99591

ph: (907) 859-2263

 

Projects:

Download a listing of projects submitted by the City of St. George for inclusion in the Southwest Alaska Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

Download St. George Projects List