Our People

Htsast'a ghu nał tqighit'ahch' ghu q'udi guhdi hk'uch' shughu nał tqit'a da.

(How it was in the past is much different for us now.)

The Dena’ina Athabascan people have occupied the Pedro Bay area for millennia.

The village of Pedro Bay is located at the head of Pedro Bay and the east end of Iliamna Lake, about 30 miles from Iliamna and 180 air miles from Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city.

We speak the Iliamna Dena'ina dialect, one of several variations in the Dena’ina language spoken throughout Southcentral Alaska communities.

Throughout history, our ancestors survived on the food and materials the land provided, hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering berries and greens. Our people traded with early Euro-American explorers and traders, which introduced many changes to our culture, some welcome (improved hunting materials, for example), others less so (disease decimated the Native population).

In the early 1800s, the Dena'ina people throughout Southcentral Alaska, including the villages around Iliamna Lake fought Russian fur traders over trade practices and their overall mistreatment of the people.

Russian missionaries brought influences that can still be seen today. The St. Nicholas Chapel in Pedro Bay is a historic Russian Orthodox church, listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Pedro Bay was named after Petroski Riktorov, known by residents as "Old Petro," who lived in the area in the early 1900s.

Today, Pedro Bay residents still rely heavily on subsistence activities. Summer employment is obtained in the Bristol Bay fishery or in Iliamna Lake tourism services. Several wilderness lodges operate in Pedro Bay.

Many of the descendants of Pedro Bay have moved from the village. Pedro Bay shareholders live across the United States.

Pedro Bay Corporation Newsletter