|Regions with significant populations|
|Sugcestun, English, Russian|
|Russian Orthodox Church, traditional religion|
|Related ethnic groups|
The Alutiiq people (pronounced // in English; from Promyshlenniki Russian Алеутъ, "Aleut"; plural often "Alutiit"), also called by their ancestral name Sugpiaq (// or //; plural often "Sugpiat"), as well as Pacific Eskimo or Pacific Yupik, are a southern coastal people of Alaska Natives.
Their traditional homelands include Prince William Sound and outer Kenai Peninsula (Chugach Sugpiaq), the Kodiak Archipelago and the Alaska Peninsula (Koniag Alutiiq). In the early 1800s there were more than 60 Alutiiq villages in the Kodiak archipelago, with an estimated population of 13,000 people. Today more than 4,000 Alutiiq people live in Alaska.
At present, the most commonly used title is Alutiiq (singular), Alutiik (dual), Alutiit (plural). These terms derive from the names (Алеутъ, Aleut) that Russian fur traders and settlers gave to the native people in the region. Russian occupation began in 1784, following their massacre of hundreds of Sugpiat at Refuge Rock (Awa'uq) just off the coast of Sitkalidak Island near the present-day village of Old Harbor (Nuniaq).
Given the violence underlying the colonial period, and confusion because the Sugpiaq term for Aleut is Alutiiq, some Alaska Natives from the region have advocated use of the terms that the people themselves use to describe their people and language: Sugpiaq (singular), Sugpiak (dual), Sugpiat (plural) — to identify the people (meaning "the real people"), and Sugstun, Sugcestun, Sugt'stun, or Sugtestun to refer to the language. All three names (Alutiiq, Aleut, and Sugpiaq) are used now, according to personal preference. Over time, many other ethnonyms were used to refer to this people.
The people traditionally lived a coastal lifestyle, subsisting primarily on ocean resources such as salmon, halibut, and whale. They supplemented these maritime foods with rich land resources, such as berries and land mammals. Before contact with Russian fur traders, they lived in semi-subterranean homes called ciqlluaq. Today, in the 21st century, the Alutiiq live in coastal fishing communities in more modern housing. They work in all aspects of the modern economy, while also maintaining the cultural value of subsistence.
In 2010 the high school in Kodiak responded to requests from Alutiiq students and agreed to teach the Alutiiq language. It is one of the Eskimo–Aleut languages, belonging to the Yup'ik branch of these languages. The Kodiak dialect of the language was being spoken by only about 50 persons, all of them elderly, and the dialect was in danger of being lost entirely.
Names derived from a combination of Russian and Native words include: Alutiiq, from the Russian word Aleut; plus the Russian plural suffix -y; plus the Native singular suffix -q