History & Culture
You might float the Alagnak River today and hardly see another soul. But don't be fooled—this resource-rich area has been home to humans for thousands of years.
Archeological surveys have documented sites belonging to the Paleoarctic tradition (9,000 to 7,000 years ago). The oldest radiocarbon dated sites are about 2,300 years old. In 2004, archeologists excavated Alagnak Village. From these ancient campsites and villages all the way to modern fish camps, the Alagnak bears witness to the people who lived there.
Modern Yupik, Sugpiaq Alutiiq, and Denaina people from Levelock, Iguigig, Naknek, and other villages make use of the Alagnak area for subsistence fishing, hunting, berry picking, and firewood gathering.Alagnak Wild River ebook:
Read more about the cultural history of the Alagnak River in Alagnak Wild River: An Illustrated Guide to the Cultural History of the Alagnak Wild River.
Did You Know?
In the local language, the word Alagnak means "making mistakes." According to a life-long area resident, "the channel is always changing, causing mistakes and getting lost." Every year the river changes and branches, which is why it is known locally as "Branch River."