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 Alaska's largest city, Anchorage.
We speak the Iliamna Dena'ina dialect, one of several variations in the Dena’ina language spoken throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Our people have survived on the food and materials the land provides. Hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering are all part of our traditional and modern activities. Interactions with early Euro-American explorers and traders introduced many changes to our culture. Some of these changes were welcomed, such as improvements to hunting materials, but the effects of these interactions proved to be devastating. Native populations across Alaska were decimated by disease from lack of immunity in the people.While much knowledge was no doubt lost in the aftermath of disease, our people have persevered in the face of defeat. We retain our traditional practices and continually work toward a better future.
In the early 1800s, the Dena'ina people throughout Southcentral Alaska, including the villages around Iliamna Lake fought with Russian fur traders over unfair trade practices and their mistreatment of Native 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 with an emphasis on the great sport fishing the lake provides.
Descendants and shareholders of Pedro Bay live throughout Alaska and the United States. While the population in Pedro Bay has been declining in recent years, Pedro Bay Corporation hopes to increase employment opportunities and have a resurgence of people moving into the village.