Cultural Resource Program
The Cultural Resource program at Kobuk Valley National Park documents the lives and activities of people in the parks, past and present, and strives to preserve places with unique history.
Humans have made their homes in Kobuk Valley National Park for at least 9,000 years. Inupiaq Eskimo peoples call this area home. In the past, Athapaskan Indians also traveled and traded in the upper Kobuk region. The Inupiaq name for the local population is kuuvaum kayiagmiut. "Kobuk River People" Burch, P. 123.
In Alaska, as in the rest of the United States, the National Park Service recognizes and manages five basic types of cultural resources:
The authentic remnants of our nation’s cultural legacy give us an irreplaceable tangible link to our past that cannot be replaced by a book or an article. These authentic places and objects are material touchstones to a past that we experience for ourselves. They serve as material anchors to our past and reference points to our future that cannot be easily erased or eliminated. We can see them, touch them, connect with them in such a way that we can know the past actually happened. Each generation can learn from the ruins, the buildings, and the objects of the past; these are the landmarks that link us over time and space and give meaning and orientation to our lives.
Did You Know?
Some river drainages in Kobuk Valley National Park are so remote that the U.S. Geological Survey has not given them names. However, many may have been named by the indigenous people living in the region for thousands of years.