|Regions with significant populations|
Ancestors of the Alaska Natives are known to have migrated into the area thousands of years ago, and established varying indigenous, complex cultures that have succeeded each other over time. They developed sophisticated ways to deal with the challenging climate and environment. Europeans and Americans began to trade with Alaska Natives in the nineteenth century. New settlements around trading posts were started by Russians, British and Americans.
In 1971 the United States Congress passed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which settled land and financial claims for lands and resources which they had lost to European Americans. It provided for the establishment of 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations to administer those claims. Similar to the separately defined status of the Canadian Inuit and First Nations, which are recognized as distinct peoples, Alaska Natives are in some respects treated separately from Native Americans in the United States. An example of this separate treatment is that Alaska Natives are allowed the harvesting of whales and other marine mammals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.
In addition, Alaska Natives were not allotted individual title in severalty to land under the Dawes Act but were instead treated under the Alaska Native Allotment Act until it was repealed in 1971. Another characteristic difference is that Alaska Native tribal governments do not have the power to collect taxes for business transacted on tribal land, per the United States Supreme Court decision in Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government. Except for the Tsimshian, Alaska Natives do not hold reservations.
Gathering of subsistence foodstuffs continues to be an important economic and cultural activity for many Alaska Natives. In Barrow, Alaska in 2005, more than 91 percent of the Iñupiat households which were interviewed still participated in the local subsistence economy, compared with the approximately 33 percent of non-Iñupiat households who used wild resources obtained from hunting, fishing, or gathering. But, unlike many tribes in the contiguous United States, Alaska Natives do not have treaties with the United States that protect their subsistence rights. Further, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act explicitly extinguished aboriginal hunting and fishing rights in the state of Alaska.
Below is a full list of the different Alaska Native cultures. Within each culture are many different tribes.
- Aleut (in their own language they refer to themselves as Unangan)
See also 
- List of Alaska Native Tribal Entities, the list of Native Villages and other "tribal entities" recognized by the US Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- Prehistory of Alaska
- First Alaskans Institute
- Indigenous Amerindian genetics
- Indigenous peoples of the Subarctic
- Alaska Native Storytelling
- Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development. (2006). "Table 1.8 Alaska Native American Population Alone By Age And Male/Female, July 1, 2006." Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Research & Analysis. Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
- Elizabeth Barrett Ristroph, "Alaska Tribes' Melting Subsistence Rights," 1 Arizona Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 1, 2010, Available at http://ajelp.com/documents/RistrophFinal.pdf
- URS CORP., BARROW VILLAGE PROFILE 4.3-6 (2005), available at http://www.north-slope.org/information/comp_plan/BarrowVillageProfile06.pdf
- 43 U.S.C. § 1603(b) (2006)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Alaska Natives|
- Alaska Federation of Natives
- Alaska Native Health Board
- Alaska Native Heritage Center
- First Alaskans Institute
- Tlingit National Anthem, Alaska Natives Online
- Arctic Studies Center