Ahtna Incorporated Ahtna, Incorporated is one of 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations established by Congress under terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971.
Culture of Ahtna Shareholders
Ahtna, Inc. shareholders are mainly comprised of the Ahtna Athabascan people of the Copper River and Cantwell regions of southcentral Alaska. The Ahtna people take their name from the indigenous word for the Copper River, which flows through Ahtna land.
The language of the Ahtna people, which is also referred to by the same name, belongs to the Na-Dene language family that includes the Tlingit, Eyak, and Athabascan languages of North America. The four distinct dialects of the Ahtna language are still spoken today, and there are strong efforts to increase its use amongst current and new generations of shareholders to keep the language from going extinct.
Historically, the Ahtna people were semi-nomadic and extensive travelers, continually following their food source and moving from place to place according to the seasons. Although most Ahtna are no longer nomadic, the traditions and ways of life of the past, especially the practice of a subsistence lifestyle, continue to this day.
The Ahtna Region
The Ahtna Region is located in the Alaskan south-central interior and encompasses the Copper River Basin and the Wrangell Mountains. The region is bordered by the Mentasta and Nutzotin Mountains to the northeast, the Alaska Range to the north, the Talkeetna Mountains to the west and the Chugach Mountains to the south. The Wrangell Mountains are made up of dormant volcanoes with one exception. Mt. Wrangell is the largest active volcano in North America.
The Ahtna Region includes the entire Copper River watershed, including the Chitina, the Chistochina, the Gulkana, the Tazlina, the Gakona and portions of the Susitna and Nenana watersheds.
The Copper River system is the fourth largest in Alaska, and is the most extensively glacier-influenced. The region includes about 46,000 square miles of land, which is largely unexplored, but rich deposits of copper, gold, silver, lead, molybdenum, and platinum are known.
Two National Parks, Denali National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, also dominate the Ahtna Region. Ahtna holds title to 300 acres within Denali National Park and approximately 25,000 acres under selection adjacent to Denali National Park. Within Wrangell-St. Elias, Ahtna has approximately 622,000 acres conveyed.