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.
Thanks to the archeological investigations of the Seward Privy Project, researchers learned fascinating details about life in early Seward, Alaska.
A Fragile Beauty (2010) by Theodore Catton.
The administrative history of Kenai Fjords National Park.
A Stern and Rock-Bound Coast (1998) by Linda Cook and Frank Norris.
The historic resource study of Kenai Fjords National Park. It is available through the National Park Service's On-Line book portal.
Resources for the National Park Service
Did You Know?
River otters defecate in certain spots to mark their territory. Researchers in Kenai Fjords National Park have discovered that these "latrine sites" enrich the soil, allowing plants to grow in those spots that aren't found anywhere else close by.