Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Alaska Natives comprise three distinct ethnic groups: Eskimos, Aleuts, and Indians, each with their own distinct histories, cultures, customs, and traditions. American Indians/Alaska Natives constitute approximately 1% of the U.S. population. However, in Alaska, Native people comprise approximately 17% of the 625,000 people that make up the state's total population. Thus, Alaska has the 10th largest Native population and the largest Native population per capita in the United States. Alaska Native peoples live primarily in northern and western Alaska, accounting for more than 50% of the total population in those regions. Only 7% of Alaska Natives live in urban settings. The rest live in rural and bush areas, often in isolated tribal villages 40 to 60 miles apart. Alaska Natives have a rich, proud, and varied history. Although protectors of Alaska's vast natural resources and contributors to the rich cultural heritage of the state, they also experience acculturation stresses brought ...