History of Alaska

Aleut Man and Woman

This illustrated article provides interesting facts, information and a history timeline of the Native American Indians of Alaska.

The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Alaska resulted in the adoption of the Arctic Culture and Sub-Arctic cultures.

Discover the history, interesting facts and information about the way of life of the Alaska Indians before the arrival of the white European settlers and colonists.

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

History of Alaska Indians
The above picture shows an American Indian of the Aleut tribe who lived in this area before the enforced removal of Native Indians to the reservations.

Stone Age History of Alaska
The American Native Indians who lived in what is now the present state of Alaska led a Stone Age lifestyle - they only had stone tools and weapons, had never seen a horse and had no knowledge of the wheel. The history of the Alaska Indians are detailed in this article.

Map of Alaska
Alaska is a state in northwestern North America. The map of Alaska provides a bird's eye view of the location of the tribal territories and homelands of the Alaska Indians in relation to the present day United States of America. The map indicates the location of the State and the American Native Indians of Alaska.


State Map of Alaska

Map showing location of Alaska

State Map showing location of Alaska Indians


Names of the Alaska Indian Tribes
Alaska is a state in northwestern North America. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Alaska. The names of the Alaska tribes included the Chinook, Tillamook, Eyak, Salish and the Tlingit. The Native Indians of Alaska was divided into several groups. The Tlingit, Haida an Tsimshian (coastal Indians) consisted of several Indian tribes and are also known as First Nations. The Aleut lived in the Aleutian Islands off the coast of mainland Alaska. The native Athabascan Indians inhabited the interior of the state. There were two groups of Eskimos, the Inupiat (Northern Eskimos) and the Yupik (Southern Eskimos).

Fast Facts about the History of Alaska Indians
The way of life and history of Alaska Indians was dictated by the natural raw materials available in the State of Alaska. The natural resources and materials available provided the food, clothing and houses of the Alaska Indians. Fast facts about the history, culture and life of the State of Alaska Indians. Discover facts and information about the history of the State of Alaska Indians.

  • Name of State: Alaska
  • Meaning of State name: Named after the Aleut word "Alyeska," meaning "great land."
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Alaska: Coastal Plains, hills, broken terrain
  • Culture adopted by Alaska Indians: Arctic and Sub-Arctic cultures
  • Languages: Chinookan, Athabaskan and Algonquian
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunters and Fishers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Plankhouses, Igloos (Snow houses), Barabaras and Sod Houses

History Timeline of the Alaska Indians
The history and the way of life of Alaska Indians was profoundly affected by newcomers to the area. The indigenous people had occupied the land thousands of years before the first European explorers arrived. The Europeans brought with them new ideas, customs, religions, weapons, transport (the horse and the wheel), livestock (cattle and sheep) and disease which profoundly affected the history of the Native Indians. The history of the State and of its Native American Indians is detailed in a simple History Timeline. This Alaska Indian History Timeline provides a list detailing dates of conflicts, wars and battles involving Alaska Indians and their history. We have also detailed major events in US history which impacted the history of the Alaska Indians.

Alaska History Timeline

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Alaska

10,000 BC: Upper Paleolithic period - Asiatic groups crossed the Bering land bridge into western Alaska

1741: Vitus Bering, a Dane working for the Russians, discovers mainland Alaska

1745: The exploration of Alaska by the Russians begin

1763: 1763-1766 - Conflict between Russian fur hunters and Alaskan Natives in which the Aleut destroy four Russian ships and kill 175 hunters.

1772: Permanent Russian settlement established

1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution.

1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence

1778: Captain James Cook explores the Arctic Ocean searching for the Northwest Passage

1794: First Russian Orthodox missionaries arrive at Kodiak from Russia to convert Alaskan Native Indians

1799: Russia claims Alaska

1804: Battle of Sitka, a major conflict between European and Alaska Natives.

1805: Tlingit attack and destroy the Russian post at New Russia

1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence

1830: Indian Removal Act

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1835: United States and England obtain trading privileges in Alaska

1835: 1835-1839 Smallpox, measles, chicken pox, and whooping-cough epidemics reduce the Alaskan Native Indian population

1838: The British Hudsonís Bay Company leases the Southeast Alaska mainland from the Russians

1851: The Nulato Massacre - The Kokukuk River people massacred a large part of the population of Nulato due to a trade dispute

1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.

1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers

1865: The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy

1867: The sale of Alaska by Russia to the United States for for $7.2 million

1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers

1890's: Alaskan gold rush results in miners and settlers moving to Alaska. Reindeer herds are imported into Alaska

1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.

1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Alaska

State of Alaska History Timeline

History of Alaska Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Alaska had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Alaska Indians.


  • History of Alaska Indians
  • Interesting Facts and information about the Alaska Culture and History
  • Names of indigenous Alaska tribes of Indians
  • Fast Facts, History Timeline and info
  • Map of Alaska
  • History Timeline of the Alaska Indians

State of Alaska Indians - Additional Pictures and Videos
State of Alaska Indian History. Discover the vast selection of pictures and videos of Native Americans. The pictures show the clothing, weapons and decorations of various Native American tribes that can be used as an educational history resource for kids and children. We hope that this article on the History of Alaska Indians  will assist in your studies or homework and that you will enjoy watching the videos featuring many pictures of the Native Americans. A great historical educational resource for kids on the subject of the History of Alaska Indians..


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