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chuathbaluk from website

Photo from Chuathbaluk Website, link below

Chuathbaluk is located on the north bank of the Kuskokwim River, 11 miles upriver from Aniak in the Russian mountains. It is 87 air miles northeast of Bethel and 310 miles west of Anchorage. Chuathbaluk lies along a small drainage of Mission Creek that originates in the Russian Mountains, 5 miles north of the community. At 244 feet above sea level, the community is backed by large areas of tundra and bordered boreal forest and the Russian Mountains.

The information here is taken from the Chuathbaluk webpage with permission from their administrators.

For those of you who don’t live in Chuathabluk, or are new residents - this video is a good introduction!

The History of Chuathbaluk

The town site of Chuathbaluk, previously called Little Russian Mission but now named for its large blueberries in Yup'ik, was first documented as a summer village in the personal journals of Andrei Glazunov, a Creole explorer and merchant, who stopped in the village to dry his clothes while searching for an overland route to Cook Inlet (VanStone 1959). The seasonal settlement, referred to in Glazunov’s  journals as Tschakwack, was further utilized when Kolmakovsky Redoubt was established as a Russian administrative and trading center on the south bank of the Kuskokwim River, opposite the Kolmakof and Kuskokwim rivers’  confluence and  1.2 miles  east  of present-day  Chuathbaluk. The  current site of Chuathbaluk  was  selected for the  construction  of an Orthodox  Church instead of the redoubt, because the north bank of the river was less prone to flooding (Oswalt  1980).

St. Sergius Church, established in 1894, marked the beginning of a small migration of  individuals from nearby communities. The Little Russian Mission settlement did not last long, however, because the “Great sickness” 'the influenza epidemic in 1918-1919, reached the mission shortly thereafter. The mission slowly de-populated to little more than a pair of church workers who left in 1929 ( Oswalt 1980).

Chuathbaluk was re-established when Sam Phillips from Crow Village moved his family and extended family to the community. At that time the Alaskan Diocese required a minimum number of residents to continue holding services, so by moving his extended family to Little Russian Mission, "Crow Village" Sam Phillips helped to ensure the continuation of the church in that location. This marked the re-establishment period of the community. In the 1950's St. Sergius Church was reconstructed just yards from the original structure on a new foundation. The original church site behind the store and post office building is still recognized as sacred ground. Chuathbaluk residents have carried out their traditional subsistence practices through the seasonal round, much like their neighbors up and down the river.

Photos of Chuathbaluk


For a list of current contacts in Chuathbaluk, contact the Tribal office at (907) 467-4313.


Use the Arrows at the top of the page to keep moving up river or click on a community name on the right side of the page.