An Eskimo village was originally located here, but was destroyed during the Russian fur boom in the late 1700s. Chignik, meaning «big wind» was established in the late 1800s as a fishing village and cannery. Chignik became an incorporated city in 1983. Today, there are two historical canneries still in operation. Nearly 50 percent of the population are Alaska Natives - Aleuts and Eskimos. Subsistence on fish and caribou is important to residents' livelihoods.