History & Culture
The story of the Kenai Fjords is not just one of geology and landforms, but also of people. This region has been home to Alaska Natives for thousands of years. In more recent times, hunters, fishermen, fox farmers, and miners have made use of the fjords.
Within Kenai Fjords National Park, a representative piece of the north Gulf Coast of Alaska, stories of people and places abound. Humans have left their mark here too; from the Alutiiq, whose camps dotted the coastline, to the mining camps that at one time operated in the Nuka Bay area. Remnants of former times are abundant. They are worthy of protection as much as any natural feature, as they are invaluable links to the past.
The Cultural Resources program at Kenai Fjords National Park documents people in the park, now and in the past, and helps preserve places with special history.
Exit Glacier Project Jukebox is a digital branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks oral history program. This project highlights conversations with long-term residents of Seward, Alaska about their lives, and the traditional activities in the area around Exit Glacier from 1950-1980.
A Stern and Rock-Bound Coast (1998) by Linda Cook and Frank Norris, is a historic resource study of Kenai Fjords National Park. It is available through the National Park Service's On-Line book portal.
A Fragile Beauty (2010) by Theodore Catton, is an Administrative History of Kenai Fjords National Park. It is available as a PDF (5.8 MB).
Resources for the National Park Service
Did You Know?
With 570,374 square miles, Alaska is twice the size of Texas and 1/5 the size of the rest of the United States. It stretches 2,400 miles east-to-west and 1,420 miles north-to-south. Its 6,640-mile coastline is 50 percent longer than the combined east and west coasts of the United States.