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 Slice of Early Seward: How Archeology Provides a glimpse into Daily Life in this Frontier Town (2013) by Dan Trepal, shows how archeology can provide a glimpse in to daily life in a frontier town.
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).
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.
Resources for the National Park Service
Did You Know?
The Dall’s porpoise may be the fastest small cetacean on the planet. It has been reported to reach speeds of 30 knots. These creatures delight in riding the bow waves of tour boats in Kenai Fjords.