The Real Alaska Natives
The indigenous peoples of Alaska, known as Alaska Natives, have varied cultures and have adapted to harsh environments for thousands of years. They are as far north as Barrow and as far south as Ketchikan. Natives are indigenous peoples of Alaska: Iñupiat, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures. Ancestors of Alaska Natives are known to have migrated into the area thousands of years ago, in at least two different waves. Some are descendants of a third wave of migration in which people settled across the northern part of North America. They never migrated to southern areas. For this reason, genetic studies show they are not closely related to Native Americans in South America. Throughout the Arctic and northern areas, they established varying indigenous, complex cultures that have succeeded each other over time. Alaska Natives developed sophisticated ways to deal with the challenging climate and environment, and cultures rooted in the place. Historic groups have been defined by their languages, which belong to several major language families.