Cutter SPAR hosts Sun’aq Tribe in observance of National Native American Heritage Month

SPAR becomes part of Kodiak's Sun'aq Tribe

Ivar Malutin, chairman of the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak, and Lt. Cmdr. Michele Schallip, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, stand with plaques commemorating the SPAR’s addition to the tribe as a honorary ship of the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak at a dinner held in Kodiak, Alaska. SPAR is the first Coast Guard unit to be made an honorary member of any Native American tribe.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR hosted members of the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak as part of the cutter’s Native American History month observance, Thursday.

The crew of the SPAR had lunch with members of the tribe and learned about the tribe’s local history and their relationship with the Coast Guard.

November marks the celebration of National Native American Heritage Month. This month provides an opportunity to recognize the service and significant contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives to our nation. This year’s theme is serving our People, Serving our Nation: Native Visions for Future Generations.

The Coast Guard continues to partner with tribal leaders to protect subsistence hunting and fishing, and enhance relationships between the federal sector and Alaska Natives and American Indians.

“This was a great opportunity to invite members of the Sun’aq Tribe aboard and learn about their history and culture,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michele Schallip, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter SPAR. “It also provided the crew with an opportunity to discuss their roles and missions.”

Ivar Malutin, chairman of the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak, understands the importance of the Coast Guard and why it’s so important to maintain a good relationship.

“That’s why I wanted to visit here today; we want to keep that good relationship going.”

The SPAR became the honorary ship of the Sun’aq Tribe in June, in recognition of the assistance they provided to commemorate the memory of two tribe members who lost their lives when the vessel, Phyllis S, sank near Kodiak in 1942.

You can see what else the crew of SPAR has been up to and follow their current deployment on our Facebook Page.

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