Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


A view of Togiak.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The land is vibrantly alive, a stunningly abundant resource. We believe that all things in this world and universe have life, as humans have life.

– Joan Hamilton


The Yup’ik and Cup’ik People

Joan Hamilton

For cultural groups to be successful and survive, the people must adapt to their environment, and more importantly, must create rules of conduct to govern their behavior for the benefit of the community. Two Alaskan Eskimo peoples, Yup’ik and Cup’ik, continue to live in the area known as the Y-K (Yukon-Kuskokwim) Delta, as they have for at least ten thousand years. The Yukon River to the north, the Kuskokwim River to the south, and the Bering Sea to the west encompass this Oregon-sized part of western Alaska. There are 56 villages in the region today, as well as the central hub of Bethel. More than 23,000 people make their home in the Y-K Delta, while many other Yup’ik and Cup’ik people live in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and all over the world. Continue Reading