Alaska Natives

Alaska Natives
Alaska Native
Inuit man 1906.jpg
Inupiat man
Total population
~106,660 (2006)[1]
Regions with significant populations

American English, Haida, Tsimshianic languages, Eskimo–Aleut languages, Chinook Jargon, Na-Dené languages, others


Shamanism (largely ex), Christianity

Alaska Natives are the indigenous peoples of Alaska. They include: Aleut, Inuit, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Eyak, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures.



In 1912 the Alaska Native Brotherhood was founded. In 1971 Congress passed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which settled land and financial claims, and provided for the establishment of 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations to administer those claims. Similar to the status of the Canadian Inuit and First Nations, which are recognized as distinct peoples, Alaska Natives are in some respects treated separately from Native Americans in the United States. An example of this separate treatment is that Alaska Natives are allowed the harvesting of whales and other marine mammals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. In addition, Alaska Natives were not given title to land under the Dawes Act but were instead treated under the Alaska Native Allotment Act until it was repealed in 1971. Another characteristic difference is that Alaska Native tribal governments do not have the power to collect taxes for business transacted on tribal land, per the United States Supreme Court decision in Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government because Alaska Natives (except for Tsimshians) do not hold reservations.


Gathering of subsistence foodstuffs continues to be an important economic and cultural activity for many Alaska Natives.[2] In Barrow, Alaska, over ninety-one percent of the Iñupiat households that were interviewed participate in the local subsistence economy, compared with approximately two-thirds of non-Iñupiat households did not use wild resources obtained from hunting, fishing, or gathering.[3] However, unlike many tribes in the contiguous United States, Alaska Natives do not have treaties with the United States that protect their subsistence rights.[4] Further, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, explicitly extinguished aboriginal hunting and fishing rights in the state of Alaska.[5]


Alaska Native Languages
American Indians and Alaska Natives in Alaska.

Below is a full list of the different Alaska Native cultures. Within each culture are many different tribes.

See also

Portal icon Indigenous peoples of North America portal
Portal icon Alaska portal


  1. ^ Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development. (2006). "Table 1.8 Alaska Native American Population Alone By Age And Male/Female, July 1, 2006." Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Research & Analysis. Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
  2. ^ Elizabeth Barrett Ristroph, Alaska Tribes' Melting Subsistence Rights, 1 Ariz. J. Envtl. L. & Pol'y 1, 2010, Available at
  3. ^ URS CORP., BARROW VILLAGE PROFILE 4.3-6 (2005), available at
  4. ^ Elizabeth Barrett Ristroph, Alaska Tribes' Melting Subsistence Rights, 1 Ariz. J. Envtl. L. & Pol'y 1, 2010, Available at
  5. ^ 43 U.S.C. § 1603(b) (2006)

External links

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