Native Villages
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Alaskan Native Villages

Fairbanks is a good jumping off place for learning about native culture.

Alaska Native Peoples are divided into eleven distinct cultures, speaking twenty different languages. there are five cultural groupings which draw upon cultural similarities and geographic proximity. Alaska Natives are about 16% of the Alaskan population and are the majority in about 200 Native Villages in the state.

The Native cultures of Alaska are both similar and diverse.  The strong influence of Alaska’s varied environments formed ties between the people and the land, helping to develop unique legends, customs, and subsistence lifestyles in harmony with the specific area where they settled.  

Native people had great respect for the spirit of each living thing.  Respect and cooperation among village members helped to  guarantee the survival of the people.

They were all basically hunters and food gatherers.  Rivers, lakes and the ocean were major passageways, and all cultures included some variety of water transportation.  Most groups were not really nomadic, but their subsistence lifestyle meant they had to be able to travel great distances.  Almost all groups lived in permanent winter villages, but moved to fish camps on the rivers in the summer.  Most depended heavily upon fish and marine life for subsistence.  Land mammals were also used for food and clothing, and they  supplemented their diet with vegetation such as mushrooms, seaweed,  and a many kinds of berries.

Language and culture boundaries between Alaska Native groups are distinct, and reflect the nature of the respective culture. (map to come)

Nome

Once an important gold rush town, Nome is still the largest town on Alaska's west coast with approximately 4500 people). It is located less than 200 miles from Russia, across the Bering Straight. Nome is a popular stop for tourists, and in the winter it is the endpoint for the Iditarod sled dog race, which starts in Anchorage. Follow the link above for much more!

Barrow

Map of BarrowBarrow is the northernmost city in Alaska, 340 miles north of the Arctic Circle, on the Arctic Ocean. This map shows Barrow, but it is deceptive. The dashed line shows the air route to Barrow - there is no road, although the Dalton Highway comes close. Airlines  provide the main mode of transportation to Barrow with daily flights from Anchorage and Fairbanks. Follow the link "Barrow" for more.

 Click here for a listing of links to Native Corporations.

 

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