Alaska Native Cultures

Ancient Civilizations, Native Tribal Communities & Archaeological Finds

The customs, cultures, and lifestyles of Alaska’s 100,000 Native people and Indian tribes are varied and alive in every region of America’s largest state. No matter where you travel, you will find rich Alaska Native culture in languages and traditions; subsistence hunting and fishing; drumming, singing, and storytelling; art, crafts, totem poles, and clothing; and displays of community, strength, and athleticism.

There are more than 200 federally recognized Indian tribes in Alaska today. Their lifestyles, languages, clothing, and art vary by tribe and region. There are many opportunities to experience it all – Alaska Native culture and history are vibrant, living, and woven into every state region. Many museums and community cultural centers have rich displays of Alaska Native content. There are also annual cultural events and tours led by Alaska Native people who are proud to tell the stories of their people.

The best way to appreciate the cultures of Alaska’s First People is to experience them firsthand. Most Alaska towns and Alaska Native villages have cultural centers or gathering places that display the region’s history and arts and crafts, as well as host events. Unique venues span the state, including the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage; the Inupiat Heritage Museum in Barrow; the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka; the Totem Heritage Center and the Totem Bight State Historical Park in and near Ketchikan; the Sitka National Historical Park; the Alaska State Museum in Juneau; and the Totem Park in Saxman.

During your explorations around the state, be sure to look out for events that spotlight traditional Alaska Native sports. These games showcase challenges of strength, balance, and mental toughness that also pay tribute to lifestyles and survival in the north. Check community calendars for Alaska Native games like the World Eskimo-Indian and Native Youth Olympics.

You can also take some of the most amazing Alaska Native art home, from delicate porcupine earrings and qiviut (the magically soft underfur of musk ox) scarves to ulus and ulus and hand-carved masks. In Anchorage, the Alaska Native Medical Center has some of the state’s best Alaska Native artwork displayed in its stairwells and a wide selection of art and jewelry for sale in its gift shop.


Choose from 8 vacations in Alaska related to Alaska Native Cultures

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people on a train looking at Alaskan scenery through dome-car windows; one woman holds a map of Alaska

Relax Alaska

Great for travelers looking to explore Alaska at a relaxed pace. This tour starts in Anchorage and combines travel by train and motor coach between Seward and Fairbanks, ending with a scheduled flight from Fairbanks returning to Anchorage.... Browse itinerary

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Winter Wonderland and Iditarod

All things Iditarod! Attend the Musher’s Banquet, visit a kennel, meet an Iditarod champion, and watch the ceremonial start and official start of the Last Great Race! Travel by van or coach from Anchorage: Tour Anchorage, the Anchorage... Browse itinerary

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Gates of the Arctic Air Adventure

This flightseeing trip from Fairbanks in the evening takes you to the Gates of the Arctic National Park and the Arctic Region.  You will first fly from Fairbanks to Coldfoot, 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle.  During... Browse itinerary

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Bettles Lodge Summer Experience

Fly from Fairbanks along the Yukon River to the foothills of Alaska's Brooks Range. Bettles Lodge offers simple but comfortable accommodations and genuine hospitality for all guests. Included is a guided tour of Bettles and the small village... Browse itinerary

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Bettles Lodge Winter Adventure

Fly from Fairbanks across the tremendous interior region of Alaska, landing 35 miles across the Arctic Circle in the remote outpost of Bettles. The area surrounding Bettles boasts many clear sky nights and sits directly below the aurora... Browse itinerary

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A Journey Above the Arctic

Fly north from Fairbanks on a one-hour evening flight to above Alaska’s Arctic Circle. Land along the Yukon River at the Athabascan village of Fort Yukon. Upon landing, meet your local host, who will spend the evening with... Browse itinerary

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