Ivan Vozhikov

Ivan VozhikovIvan Vozhikov was born into a large Aleut family. His mother was a native from Attu. Her ancestors were relocated to Medniy Island from Attu in the 19th century. In late 1974, after finishing his military service he returned to his native island of Bering, where he started his career as a mechanic on one of the fishing vessels. He became one of the permanent team members to hunt the northern fur seal for the community. Soon after his return from the military service, he started his fishing career, and shortly was promoted to a senior fisherman of Mednovskaya Fishing Crew.

 In addition to hunting marine mammals, he is involved in counts of northern fur seal pup’s rookeries on the Commander Islands in conjunction with academic staff of KamchatNIRO. He has worked for the last 15 years for the Aleutian Fish Factory, formerly “Commanders” and the Old Marine Mammal Plant. During the salmon run he heads a fishing crew, organizes fishing, and fish processing. He is also responsible for cargo unloading and acting as a mechanic of a self-propelled barge.

He is now a guardian of local traditions and customs. He is a member ANSARKO and a board member of Aleut International Association (AIA). He has represented the interests of the Aleut people at the Congress of Indigenous Peoples of the North, and is frequently invited to visit Alaska by the Alaskan Aleuts, who he maintains close relationship with. He regularly participates in meetings of the Scientific and Technical Council of the Commander Reserve, representing interests of indigenous peoples as well as the Aleutian Fish Factory. For many years he has danced and sang in his free time in the local band “Unangan.” He takes part in every holiday or concert, whether it is International Women’s Day or the Day of Aboriginal Fishermen.