Akinka nangluki tamaakenka. - I lost all of my money.
With the development of a cash economy in the historic era, Kodiak Alutiiqs found opportunities to earn money. Until the turn of the twentieth century, Alutiiq families sustained themselves largely through subsistence activities, earning small amounts of money through trapping and reinvesting these funds in hunting and fishing equipment.
This pattern changed with the development of canneries and cannery stores. As people spent more time working in canneries, families became more dependent on the fishing industry for cash and credit. Canneries rented Alutiiqs the equipment they needed to catch and sell fish, and they provided processing jobs. In return, wages provided money to purchase the food, clothing, and supplies needed for the coming year. Because canneries were a source of both income and goods, people moved to be near them, focusing the Alutiiq population around commercial enterprises. Kodiak’s current Alutiiq villages have all been associated with canneries at one time.
Today, many Alutiiq families continue to earn money through the fishing industry, although tourism-based jobs are becoming more common. There are a limited number of wage-earning positions in rural communities, but residents work seasonally in canneries, staff post offices, work at community schools, act as public safety officers, complete administrative work for their tribal councils and Native corporations, and generate income by producing artwork.