Saint Paul second class city in the Aleutians West Census Area, located on a narrow peninsula on the southern tip of St. Paul Island ( the largest of the four islands in the Pribilofs). It lies 47 miles north of St. George Island, 240 miles north of the Aleutian Islands, 300 miles west of the Alaska mainland, and 750 air miles west of Anchorage.      

Historically, the Aleuts traveled to the Pribilofs seasonally for hunting. Following traditional Aleut stories, Russian fur traders landed first on St. George Island in 1786 and named the larger island to the north St. Peter and St. Paul Island. In 1788, the Russian American Company enslaved and relocated Aleuts from Siberia, Atka, and Unalaska to the Pribilofs to hunt fur seals; their descendants live on the two islands today. In 1870, the US government awarded the Alaska Commercial Company a 20-year sealing lease, and they provided housing, food, and medical care to the Aleuts in exchange for seal harvesting. In 1890, a second 20-year lease was awarded to the North American Commercial Company; however, fur seals had been severely over-harvested, and poverty ensued. The 1910 Fur Seal Act ended private leasing on the islands and placed the community and fur seals under the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries. Food and clothing were scarce, social and racial segregation was practiced, and working conditions were poor. During World War II, the Pribilof Aleuts were moved to Funter Bay on Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska as part of the emergency evacuation of residents from the Bering Sea. Unlike other Aleutian residents, they were confined in an abandoned cannery and mine camp at Funter Bay. In 1979, the Aleut Islanders received $8.5 million in partial compensation for the unfair and unjust treatment the federal administration subjected them to from 1870 to 1946. In 1983, Congress passed the Fur Seal Act Amendments, which ended government control of the commercial seal harvest and the federal presence on the island. Responsibility for providing community services and management of the fur seals was left to local entities. To help develop and diversity the local economy, $12 million was provided to St. Paul from the federal government. Commercial harvesting on St. Paul ceased in 1985. Ownership of fur seal pelts is now prohibited except for subsistence purposes.

St. Paul's population is predominantly Aleut. Although subsistence has not historically been the focus of the local culture, today, halibut and seal are shared and exchanged with relatives living in other communities for salted or smoked salmon. The Russian Orthodox Church plays a strong role in community cohesiveness.

Governance:  St. Paul was incorporated in 1971 and maintains a managerial form of government.  Regular elections are held the first Tuesday in October. Mayor: Simeon Swetzof Jr.

Infrastructure:

  • Accessible by sea and air.
  • State-owned asphalt runway is 6,500' long and 150' wide. Regularly-scheduled flights are provided.
  • Most supplies and freight arrive by ship. There is a breakwater 700' dock space, and a barge off-loading area.
  • In 2009, a small boat harbor project was started.

Education: St. Paul’s School is a member of the Pribilof School District. The school currently enrolls 94 students from preschool through twelfth grade, who are guided by eight teachers.

 

Contacts:

City of St. Paul

P.O. Box 901

St. Paul Island, AK 99660

Mayor - Simeon Swetzof, Jr.

ph: (907) 546-2331

City Clerk - Phyllis Swetzof

ph: (907) 546-3188

 

Tanadgusix Corporation

4300 B Street, Suite 402

Anchorage, AK 99660

President- Anthony Philemonoff

ph: (907) 546-2312

 

Tribal Government of St. Paul Island

P.O. Box 86

St. Paul Island, AK 99660

President- Michael Zacharof

ph: (907) 546-2211

 

Central Bering Sea Fishermen's Association

P.O. Box 288

St. Paul, AK 99660-0288

President- Phillip Lestenkof

ph: (907) 546-2597

 

Utilities:

St. Paul Municipal Electric

P.O. Box 901

St. Paul Island, AK 99660

Phyllis Swetzof

ph: (907)546-2331

 

TDX Power

4300 B. St, Suite 402

Anchorage, AK 99503

President - Kord Christianson

(907) 278-2312

 

Projects:

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

Download St. Paul Projects List