Douglas W. Veltre: A Life in Aleutian Anthropology

David R. Yesner


The professional career of Dr. Douglas Veltre spans a 45-year period of dedication to Aleutian anthropology, beginning with a mutual field experience on Umnak Island in 1971, and continuing to the present day. That career has utilized a combination of techniques deriving from archaeology (both precontact and postcontact), as well as from ethnohistory, oral history, and ethnography, to achieve a deeper understanding of the relationship of the Unangax̂ (Aleut) and their ancestors to the north Pacific environment of the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. In the process, he has not only greatly expanded our knowledge about the history of human occupation of these islands, but has linked that history to the contemporary people, survivors of 8,000 years of environmental challenges, of impacts of 18th–19th century colonialism, and of more recent cultural transformations.

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