Founded 8000 B.C.

The Native Village of Afognak

IMG_3045.jpgDig Afognak 2024

Survival Skills Camp, June 19th-24th
Harvesting Camp, June 27th-July 2nd
Koniag Shareholder Camp, July 11th-16th Registration is closed - Koniag Camp is full
Dance & Games Camp, July 18th-23rd
ANC Shareholder's Camp, July 31st-Aug 5th
Afognak Village Picnic, August 3rd


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Working at Dig Afognak

Dig Afognak positions are now available here: Jobs

Dig Afognak Camp staff are paid a daily rate for days worked. Temporary staff are not eligible for benefits offered through NVA. Room and board will be provided while onsite at the campSeasonal staff is required to secure own lodging and food during camp breaks. The season schedule is set in advance of start date. 

NVA offers internships at Dig Afognak for youth ages of 16-18, preference will be given to youth of Afognak descent.

Questions about Dig Afognak can be directed to Denise Malutin, Camp Manager at (907) 486-6357 or email

Program Background

Dig Afognak began in 1993 as part of a community-wide effort to regain, restore and carry forward the light of our ancestral Alutiiq culture. Archaeological research in the Kodiak Archipelago began in earnest following the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound in 1989. With the clean-up of Alaskan shorelines following the disaster, many archaeological sites were being disturbed and valuable information lost. Storm waves, vandalism and time itself were working to destroy the archaeological record.

At the same time, the former Soviet Union made available collections gathered during the days of the Russian American Company, and our people saw for the first time in more than two hundred years, beautiful and elaborate bird-skin parkas, painted and decorated bentwood hunting visors, and mask regalia. Our hearts were deeply touched by the work of our ancestors and we determined that we needed to take responsibility for the excavation of sites located on our Native lands.

Through our direction, archaeologists worked alongside Native landowners, which promoted sensitive handling of culturally significant materials. Artifacts and information recovered are housed and curated in the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository in Kodiak. To make the research circle complete, we invited tribal members and the visiting public to join us as Dig Afognak participants.

As the program developed, traditional cultural activities and youth camps joined the itinerary. Now, Dig Afognak has transformed into a haven for cultural exploration.

The upcoming season heralds a series of cultural immersion programs for our community. So join us to light the past and spark the future as we reveal the life ways of our Alutiiq ancestors.




Who can attend a Dig Afognak camp?

  • All Elders and youth (10-14) are welcome to attend.
  • NVA tribal members will have priority placement when accepting Dig Afognak applications.
  • To attend ANC Shareholder Camp or Koniag Camp you must be a shareholder, registered descendant, or spouse.

What does it cost to attend a Dig Afognak camp?

  • There is a fee of $250 per NVA Tribal Member and $350 per non-member.
  • There is no charge for the ANC Shareholder Camp and Koniag Shareholder Camp.
  • If you are a recipient/participant of any of the Kodiak Island Housing Authority NAHASDA Assisted Programs, Migrant Ed, or an Elder (must list this on your application) you may be exempt from camp fees.

What are the facilities at Dig Afognak like?

  • There are 2 chaperoned dorms for youth participants. One girl's dorm and one boy's dorm.
  • There is a women's log cabin and a men's log cabin for adult participants.
  • Our Mess Hall houses a large kitchen and dining/gathering area for meals and activities. 
  • Dig Afognak has no running water; however, we do maintain multiple handwashing stations and 2 banyas (steam baths) that are available for your daily cleanliness. We also have outhouses or nuus'hniiks that all participants use. 
  • Transportation from the NVA office to camp is provided. 
  • Dig Afognak has a zipline and low ropes course facilitated by trained staff members.
  • Dig Afognak provides Kayaks and life jackets for use on the lake located in camp.

To embrace, protect, develop, and enhance Alutiiq culture, protect our traditional use areas and encourage unity among the Alutiiq of the Kodiak Archipelago