People of the Seal

"People of the Seal" explores the centuries-old connection between the northern fur seal and the Unangan natives of Alaska's Pribilof and Aleutian Islands in the middle of Alaska's Bering Sea. Aquilina Lestenkof traces five generations of her own family's history in this remote part of the world, weaving together native, Russian, and American cultural threads.

At the heart of the story are the fur seals. Like the Unangan, the fur seals are struggling to survive. As Aquilina says, "if they're not here, then we won't be either."

The NOAA Ocean Media Center produced this film, directed by 42° N Films, as part of the Pribilof Islands Environmental Restoration Project. From 1999 to 2008, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration led the restoration and cleanup of debris and contamination of the Pribilof Islands.