Orthodox Christianity and Indigenous People in Contemporary Alaska and Chukotka

This project aims to provide a comparative and collaborative study of the relationship that indigenous people today build with Orthodox Christianity on the two sides of the Bering Strait region, in Chukotka (Russia) and in Alaska (USA). Our objective is to understand what it means to be indigenous and Orthodox in Russia and in the USA today by looking at current practices and discourses linked to Orthodox Christianity in everyday life and rituals as they are displayed in various Chukotkan and Alaskan settings. This project will explore three case studies concerning Orthodoxy: 1) The birth of the Orthodox Church in Chukotka (V. Vaté); 2) The Maskaraatan festival and Halloween among the Aleuts (Alaska, M.A. Salabelle); 3) Saint Herman’s pilgrimage, Kodiak region (Alaska, M-A. Salabelle & V. Vaté).