Three Saints Bay
Sun’all’men agyugtua. - I want to go to Three Saints Bay.
Three Saints Bay is a narrow, 8.7 mile long embayment on the southeastern side of Kodiak Island. The shores of this productive waterway have been home to Alutiiq people for millennia. Nestled between larger Kaiugnak Bay and Sitkalidak Strait, at the foot of some of Kodiak’s tallest mountains, the bay is known for its ancient settlements. Its name, however, reflects Kodiak’s Russian history.
Three Saints Bay was the location of the first permanent Russian settlement on Kodiak Island, and Russian traders named it after the flagship in entrepreneur Gregorii Shelikof ’s fleet of sailing vessels. In August of 1784, Shelikof landed in the bay and started to build a fort. After a brutal assault on a large group of Alutiiq people hiding at a nearby settlement, Shelikof took Native women and children hostages as a means of subjugating local communities. The hostages were brought to Three Saints Bay, whose name paid homage to the patriarchs of the early Christian Church, Saint Basil the Great, Saint Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom. Widely considered fathers among the saints, these men were known in the Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican faiths for sharing Christianity.
Photo: Aerial view of the entrance to Three Saints Bay.