Alaska Native Cultures

a map of alaska with overlays indicating national parks and linguistic groups of alaska natives
This map shows the indigenous language regions of Alaska. Related languages of neighboring Canada and Russia are also shown. National parks are also shown; click on a national park to explore information concerning the indigenous people traditionally calling those areas home.

Krauss, Holton, Kerr, and West. 2011. Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska. Fairbanks and Anchorage: Alaska Native Language Center and UAA Institute of Social and Economic Research. Online:

Alaska Native people have lived with the land long before it became a state or any national parks were established. Spanning from the temperate rainforests of Southeast, to the tundra of the Interior, the coastal regions of Southcentral and even the remote regions of the Aleutian Islands–Alaska Native people have distinct languages and traditions. Subsistence lifestyles and native customs still thrive in many parks and communities. Traditional ecological knowledge and native place names give us a deeper understanding of the science, history, and beauty of our national parks. Discover Alaska Native culture, past and present, in the articles below.

Close up of a carving in wood that shows a face. There are decorative pieces embedded in face.

Explore Alaska Native stories of the past, present, and future.

Three children -- a boy and two girls -- sit and look at an item held by the central child.

Learn more about Alaska Native people and their long history on these lands.

An image of a landscape with grasslands and water. Mountains in background, cloudy day.
Traditional Knowledge

Learn more about the traditional knowledge that feeds the body and souls of Alaska Natives.

a group of indigenous members play instruments to celebrate a totem pole raising in Glacier Bay NP
Working With Indigenous Communities

Read about how the NPS works with federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act corporations.

An image of a woman processing salmon

Subsistence is a way of life -- learn about how it sustains Alaska Natives and their cultures here.

An archeologist places orange marker flags in the ground.
Understanding the Past

Understand culture through oral history, linguistics, Alaska Native art and literature, archaeology, ecology, and biology.

Two men shake hands, one is dressed in native traditional clothing, the other is in an NPS uniform
Alaska Natives and Our Parks

Learn more about the rich cultural history and Alaska Native heritage in each NPS unit of Alaska.

Learn more about Alaska Native cultures...

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    Last updated: April 5, 2024