Hunters Role Group

Hunters Role Group

One of the two main reasons the Russian American Company (RAC) established Colony Ross was to conduct fur trading; this meant hunting sea otters and other marine mammals for their pelts. These desirable pelts could ultimately be traded with China, for Chinese goods that were desired in Russia. Trade was frequently conducted via third parties such as the British or American merchants. Russian hunters roamed over much of Northern California.  One Russian hunter is even recorded to have worked the Snake River of Idaho for the Hudson’s Bay Company. The hunters served as foremen when hunting sea otter, and overseeing the activities of Alaska Natives brought to Ross from Alaska.

Many of the hunters at Colony Ross were Alaska Natives. Unlike the Russians who often hunted on land, Alaska Natives are incredibly skilled at hunting in the ocean, a cultural tradition and way of life that has sustained them for thousands of years. Alaska Natives were brought to Colony Ross by the Russian American Company to hunt marine mammals for their valuable furs — especially the sea otters who have the thickest fur of any animal on the planet! Since the trading of these furs was one of the RAC’s prime objectives, there were often more Alaska Natives at Colony Ross than Russians or any other group of people. Click here to read more about Alaska Natives at Colony Ross.

As Hunters, it is your job to hunt, fish, and trade in order to gather furs, foods, and other goods.

Hunters Classroom Preparation –

  • Learn about sea otter and other animals hunted by the Russians and Alaska Natives
  • Research – where can you see a Sea Otter today?
  • Learn safety rules in preparation for fishing at Fort Ross Cove. What fishing laws apply to your group?
  • Make a group banner

Hunters Classroom Preparation and Onsite Activities –

Hunters Additional Information –

  • Brief History and Walking Tour – Learn about the history, buildings and grounds of Fort Ross
  • Hunters Historic Regulations – Read this to learn about the RAC’s historic regulations regarding Alaska Native Hunters — often incorrectly called “Aleuts” at the time
  • Creole Privileges – Read this to learn about the RAC’s historic regulations and privileges regarding Creoles
  • Hunters Songs – Explore these songs to get a better sense of the Alaska Native Hunters’ culture