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Alaska Natives are indigenous peoples of Alaska, United States: Iñupiat, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures. They are often defined by their language groups. Alaskan Natives are enrolled in federally recognized Alaska Native tribal entities, who in turn belong to 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations, who administer land and financial claims. Ancestors of the 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, the ancestors of the Alaska Natives established varying indigenous, complex cultures that have succeeded each other over time.
They 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 Gathering of subsistence food 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, except for the right to harvest whales and other marine mammals.
The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act explicitly extinguished aboriginal hunting and fishing rights in the state of Alaska Cultures Alaska Native Languages American Indians and Alaska Natives in Alaska.
Below is a full list of the different Alaska Native cultures, which are largely defined by their historic languages. Within each culture are many different tribes. Alaskan Athabaskans Ahtna Deg Hit’an Dena'ina Gwich’in Hän Holikachuk Koyukon Lower Tanana Tanacross Upper Tanana Upper Kuskokwim (Kolchan) Eyak Tlingit Haida Tsimshian Eskimo Iñupiat, an Inuit group Yupik Siberian Yupik Yup'ik Cup'ik Sugpiaq ~ Alutiiq Chugach Sugpiaq Koniag Alutiiq Aleut (Unangan)