Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants. Although some indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers—and many in the Amazon basin, still are—many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture; the impact of their agricultural endowment to the world is a testament to their time and work in reshaping and cultivating the flora indigenous to the Americas. Although some societies depended on agriculture, others practiced a mix of farming and gathering. In some regions the indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, city-states, states and empires. Among these are the Aztec and Maya states that until the 16th century were among the most politically and advanced nations in the world, they had a vast knowledge of engineering, mathematics, writing, medicine and irrigation, mining and goldsmithing. Many parts of the Americas are still populated by indigenous peoples.
At least a thousand different indigenous languages are spoken in the Americas. Some, such as the Quechuan languages, Guaraní, Mayan languages and Nahuatl, count their speakers in millions. Many maintain aspects of indigenous cultural practices to varying degrees, including religion, social organization and subsistence practices. Like most cultures, over time, cultures specific to many indigenous peoples have evolved to incorporate traditional aspects but cater to modern needs; some indigenous peoples still live in relative isolation from Western culture and a few are still counted as uncontacted peoples. Indigenous peoples of the United States are known as Native Americans or American Indians and Alaska Natives. Application of the term "Indian" originated with Christopher Columbus, who, in his search for India, thought that he had arrived in the East Indies; those islands came to be known as the "West Indies", a name still used. This led to the blanket term "Indies" and "Indians" for the indigenous inhabitants, which implied some kind of racial or cultural unity among the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
This unifying concept, codified in law and politics, was not accepted by the myriad groups of indigenous peoples themselves, but has since been embraced or tolerated, by many over the last two centuries. Though the term "Indian" does not include the culturally and linguistically distinct indigenous peoples of the Arctic regions of the Americas—such as the Aleuts, Inuit or Yupik peoples, who entered the continent as a second more recent wave of migration several thousand years before and have much more recent genetic and cultural commonalities with the aboriginal peoples of the Asiatic Arctic Russian Far East—these groups are nonetheless considered "indigenous peoples of the Americas". Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, which includes not only First Nations and Arctic Inuit, but the minority population of First Nations-European mixed race Métis people who identify culturally and ethnically with indigenous peoplehood; this is contrasted, for instance, to the American Indian-European mixed race mestizos of Hispanic America who, with their larger population, identify as a new ethnic group distinct from both Europeans and Indigenous Americans, but still considering themselves a subset of the European-derived Hispanic or Brazilian peoplehood in culture and ethnicity.
The term Amerindian and its cognates find preferred use in scientific contexts and in Quebec, the Guianas and the English-speaking Caribbean. Indígenas or pueblos indígenas is a common term in Spanish-speaking countries and pueblos nativos or nativos may be heard, while aborigen is used in Argentina and pueblos originarios is common in Chile. In Brazil, indígenas or povos indígenas are common if formal-sounding designations, while índio is still the more often-heard term and aborígene and nativo being used in Amerindian-specific contexts; the Spanish and Portuguese equivalents to Indian could be used to mean any hunter-gatherer or full-blooded Indigenous person to continents other than Europe or Africa—for example, indios filipinos. The specifics of Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the exact dates and routes traveled, are the subject of ongoing research and discussion. According to archaeological and genetic evidence and South America were the last continents in the world to gain human habitation.
During the Wisconsin glaciation, 50–17,000 years ago, falling sea levels allowed people to move across the land bridge of Beringia that joined Siberia to northwest North America. Alaska was a glacial refugium; the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered most of North America, blocking nomadic inhabitants and confining them to Alaska for thousands of years. Indigenous genetic studies suggest that the first inhabitants of the Americas share a single ancestral population, one that developed in isolation, conjectured to be Beringia; the isolat
The Gwichʼin are an Athabaskan-speaking First Nations people of Canada and an Alaska Native people. They live in the northwestern part of North America above the Arctic Circle. Gwichʼin are well known for their crafting of snowshoes, birchbark canoes, the two-way sled, they are renowned for their ornate beadwork. They continue to make traditional caribou-skin clothing and porcupine quillwork embroidery, both of which are regarded among Gwichʼin. Today the economy is a mix of hunting and seasonal wage-paying employment, their name is sometimes spelled Kutchin or Gwitchin and translates as "one who dwells" or "resident of." The French called the Gwichʼin Loucheux, as well as the Tukudh, a term used by Anglican missionaries. Gwichʼin refer to themselves by the term Dinjii Zhuu instead of Gwichʼin. Dinjii Zhuu translates as "Small People," but figuratively it refers to all First Nations, not just Gwichʼin; the Gwichʼin language, part of the Athabaskan language family, has two main dialects and western, which are delineated at the United States-Canada border.
Each village has unique dialect differences and expressions. The Old Crow people in the northern Yukon have the same dialect as those bands living in Venetie and Arctic Village, Alaska. 300 Alaskan Gwichʼin speak their language, according to the Alaska Native Language Center. However, according to the UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, Gwichʼin is now a "severely endangered" language, with fewer than 150 fluent speakers in Alaska and another 250 in northwest Canada. Innovative language revitalization projects are underway to document the language and to enhance the writing and translation skills of younger Gwichʼin speakers. In one project lead research associate and fluent speaker Gwichʼin elder, Kenneth Frank, works with linguists which include young Gwichʼin speakers affiliated with the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, to document traditional knowledge of caribou anatomy; the many different bands or tribes of Gwichʼin include but are not limited to: Deenduu, Draanjik, Di'haii, Gwichyaa, Kʼiitlʼit, Neetsaii or Neetsʼit, Danzhit Hanlaii, Teetlʼit, Vuntut or Vantee.
Three major clans survive from antiquity across Gwichʼin lands. Two are primary clans and the third has a lower/secondary status; the first clan are the Nantsaii, which translates as "First on the land", the second clan are the Chitsʼyaa which translates as "The helpers". The last clan is called the Tenjeraatsaii, which translates as "In the middle" or "independents"; this last clan is reserved for people who marry within their own clan, considered incestual. To a lesser degree, it is for children of people. In ancient times this would refer to the children of Naaʼin, people who were expelled from the tribe due to committing a crime, it applied to the children of mothers who fell outside of the clan system. Prior to 1900, being a Tenjeraatsaii automatically placed a Gwichʼin at the third-lowest rung of the social ladder, they were to some degree ostracized. The second-lowest rung was reserved for war-captured slaves; the lowest social status was that of bushman. The clan system is no longer well used among the Gwichʼin.
9,000 Gwichʼin live in 15 small communities in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory of Canada, in northern Alaska. Gwichʼin communities include: Alaska Arctic Village Beaver Birch Creek Chalkyitsik Circle Fort Yukon Venetie Northwest Territories Aklavik Fort McPherson Inuvik Tsiigehtchic Yukon Old Crow The Gwichʼin have a strong oral tradition of storytelling that has only begun to be written in the modern orthography. Gwichʼin folk stories include the "Vazaagiitsak cycle", which focuses on the comical adventures of a Gwichʼin misfit who, among other things, battles lice on a giant's head, plays the fool to the cunning fox, eats the scab from his own anus unknowingly. Gwichʼin comedies contain bawdy humor. Other major characters from the Gwichʼin oral tradition include: Googhwaii, Ool Ti', Tł'oo Thal, K'aiheenjik, K'iizhazhal, Shaanyaati'. Numerous folk tales about prehistoric times all begin with the phrase Deenaadai', which translates as "In the ancient days"; this is followed with the admission that this was "when all of the people could talk to the animals, all of the animals could speak with the people".
These stories are parables, which suggest a proper protocol, or code of behavior for Gwichʼin. Equality, hard work, mercy, cooperation for mutual success, just revenge are the themes of stories such as: "Tsyaa Too Oozhrii Gwizhit", "Zhoh Ts'à Nahtryaa", "Vadzaih Luk Hàa". In recent times, important figures in who have represented traditional belief structures are: Johnny and Sarah Frank, Ch'eegwalti'. Caribou are an integral part of First Nations and Inuit oral histories and legends including the Gwichʼin creation story o
The Aleuts, who are known in the Aleut language by the endonyms Unangan, Unangas, Унаңан, are the indigenous people of the Aleutian Islands. Both the Aleut people and the islands are divided between the U. S. state of Alaska and the Russian administrative division of Kamchatka Krai. Aleut people speak Unangam, the Aleut language, as well as English and Russian in the United States and Russia respectively. An estimated 150 people in the United States and five people in Russia speak Aleut; the language belongs to the Eskimo-Aleut language family and includes three dialects: Eastern Aleut, spoken on the Eastern Aleutian, Shumagin and Pribilof Islands. The Pribilof Islands boast the highest number of active speakers of Aleutian. Most of the Native elders speak Aleut, but it is rare for an everyday person to speak the language fluently. Beginning in 1829, Aleut was written in the Cyrillic script. From 1870, the language has been written in the Latin script. An Aleut dictionary and grammar have been published, portions of the Bible were translated into Aleut.
The Aleut dialects and tribes: Attuan dialect and speaking tribes: Sasignan / Sasxinan / Sasxinas or Near Islanders: in the Near Islands. Kasakam Unangangis or Copper Island Aleut: in the Commander Islands of Russian Federation.? Qax̂un or Rat Islanders: in the Buldir Island and Rat Islands. Atkan dialect or Western Aleut or Aliguutax̂ and speaking tribes: Naahmiĝus or Delarof Islanders: in the Delarof Islands and Andreanof Islands. Niiĝuĝis or Andreanof Islanders: in the Andreanof Islands. Eastern Aleut dialect and speaking tribes: Akuuĝun or Uniiĝun or Islanders of the Four Mountains: in the Islands of Four Mountains. Qawalangin or Fox Islanders: in the Fox Islands. Qigiiĝun or Krenitzen Islanders: in the Krenitzin Islands. Qagaan Tayaĝungin or Sanak Islanders: in the Sanak Islands. Taxtamam Tunuu dialect of Belkofski. Qaĝiiĝun or Shumigan Islanders: in the Shumagin Islands; the Aleut people lived throughout the Aleutian Islands, the Shumagin Islands, the far western part of the Alaska Peninsula, with an estimated population of around 25,000 prior to European contact.
In the 1820s, the Russian-American Company administered a large portion of the North Pacific during a Russian-led expansion of the fur trade. They resettled many Aleut families to the Pribilof Islands; these continue to have majority-Aleut communities. According to the 2000 Census, 11,941 people identified as being Aleut, while 17,000 identified as having partial Aleut ancestry. Prior to sustained European contact 25,000 Aleut lived in the archipelago; the Encyclopædia Britannica Online says more than 15,000 people have Aleut ancestry in the early 21st century. The Aleut suffered high fatalities in the 19th and early 20th centuries from Eurasian infectious diseases to which they had no immunity. In addition, the population suffered. Russian traders and Europeans married Aleut women and had families with them. After the arrival of Russian Orthodox missionaries in the late 18th century, many Aleuts became Christian. Of the numerous Russian Orthodox congregations in Alaska, most are majority Alaska Native in ethnicity.
One of the earliest Christian martyrs in North America was Saint Peter the Aleut. ` In the 18th century, Russia promyshlenniki traders established settlements on the islands. There was high demand for the furs. In May 1784, local Aleuts revolted on Amchitka against the Russian traders. According to what Aleut people said, in an account recorded by Japanese castaways and published in 2004, otters were decreasing year by year; the Russians paid the Aleuts less in goods in return for the furs they made. The Japanese learned; the leading Aleuts negotiated with the Russians, saying they had failed to deliver enough supplies in return for furs. Nezimov, leader of the Russians, ordered two of his men and Kazhimov to kill his mistress Oniishin, the Aleut chief's daughter, because he doubted that Oniishin had tried to dissuade her father and other leaders from pushing for more goods; that evening, hundreds of Aleut men marched to the Russians' houses. When five Russians opened fire, the Aleuts ran away; the next day the Aleut escaped again when the Russians started firing.
While the men attempted another attack the next day, they yelled and moved more towards the house. As Russians opened fire, they started to run away again. After they ran, the Russians noticed; the Russians took around children hostage, forcing the Aleuts to surrender. The Russians killed four Aleut leaders. After the four leaders had been killed, the Aleuts began to move from Amchitka to neighboring islands. Nezimov, leader of the Russian group, was jailed after the whole incident was reported to Russian officials. In 1811, in
The Koyukon are an Alaska Native Athabaskan people of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group. Their traditional territory is along the Koyukuk and Yukon rivers where they subsisted by hunting and trapping for thousands of years. Many Koyukon live in a similar manner today; the Koyukon language belongs to a large family called Na-Dené or Athabaskan, traditionally spoken by numerous groups of native people throughout northwestern North America. In addition, due to ancient migrations of related peoples, other Na-Dené languages, such as Navajo and Apachean varieties, are spoken in the American Southwest and in Mexico; the first Europeans to enter Koyukon territory were Russians, who came up the Yukon River to Nulato in 1838. When they arrived they found that items such as iron pots, glass beads, cloth apparel, tobacco had reached the people through their trade with coastal Eskimos, who had long traded with Russians. An epidemic of smallpox had preceded causing high fatalities in the village.
In subsequent years, European infectious diseases drastically reduced the Koyukon population, who had no immunity to them. Relative isolation persisted along the Koyukuk until 1898, when the Yukon Gold Rush brought more than a thousand men to the river, they found little gold, most left the following winter. They freeze the berries of Vaccinium vitis-idaea for winter use. Walter Harper, first man known to reach the summit of Denali, in June 1913 Morris Thompson and leader Kathleen Carlo-Kendall, professional carver artist Poldine Carlo and elder Hunn, E. S. & Williams, N. M... Resource Managers: North American and Australian Hunter-Gatherers. Westview Press: Colorado. Nelson, R. K. “A Conservation Ethic and Environment: The Koykon of Alaska” p. 211-228 Rohrlich, R & Baruch, E... Naciente, Esperanza. "Indigenous Lifestyles: Lessons for the Industrialized World." Fighting For Freedom Because A Better World Is Possible Eds. Edgey Wildchild and Esperanza Naciente. New York: Planting Seeds Press. 2006. 121-126.
Nelson, Richard K. Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. ISBN 0-226-57163-7 Nelson, Richard K. Kathleen H. Mautner, G. Ray Bane. Tracks in the Wildland: A Portrayal of Koyukon and Nunamiut Subsistence.: Anthropology and Historic Preservation, Cooperative Park Studies Unit, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 1982. Peter, Adeline. Iñuksuk: Northern Koyukon, Gwich'in & Lower Tanana, 1800-1901. Fairbanks, AK: Alaska Native Knowledge Network, 2001. ISBN 1-877962-37-6 Media related to Koyukon at Wikimedia Commons
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations; the term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander"; the ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples and cultures subsequently developed. Native Americans were affected by the European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, their population declined precipitously due to introduced diseases as well as warfare, territorial confiscation and slavery.
After the founding of the United States, many Native American peoples were subjected to warfare and one-sided treaties, they continued to suffer from discriminatory government policies into the 20th century. Since the 1960s, Native American self-determination movements have resulted in changes to the lives of Native Americans, though there are still many contemporary issues faced by Native Americans. Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78% of whom live outside reservations; when the United States was created, established Native American tribes were considered semi-independent nations, as they lived in communities separate from British settlers. The federal government signed treaties at a government-to-government level until the Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 ended recognition of independent native nations, started treating them as "domestic dependent nations" subject to federal law; this law did preserve the rights and privileges agreed to under the treaties, including a large degree of tribal sovereignty.
For this reason, many Native American reservations are still independent of state law and actions of tribal citizens on these reservations are subject only to tribal courts and federal law. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted U. S. citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. This emptied the "Indians not taxed" category established by the United States Constitution, allowed natives to vote in state and federal elections, extended the Fourteenth Amendment protections granted to people "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. However, some states continued to deny Native Americans voting rights for several decades. Bill of Rights protections do not apply to tribal governments, except for those mandated by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of population and agricultural transfer and adjustment between Old and New World societies, a process known as the Columbian exchange.
As most Native American groups had preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, the first written sources of the conflict were written by Europeans. Ethnographers classify the indigenous peoples of North America into ten geographical regions with shared cultural traits, called cultural areas; some scholars combine the Plateau and Great Basin regions into the Intermontane West, some separate Prairie peoples from Great Plains peoples, while some separate Great Lakes tribes from the Northeastern Woodlands. The ten cultural areas are as follows: Arctic, including Aleut and Yupik peoples Subarctic Northeastern Woodlands Southeastern Woodlands Great Plains Great Basin Northwest Plateau Northwest Coast California Southwest At the time of the first contact, the indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and Christian immigrants; some Northeastern and Southwestern cultures, in particular, were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than that with which Europeans were familiar.
The majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were different; the differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, social disruption. Before the European settlement of what is now the United States, Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with new European diseases, to which they had not yet acquired immunity. Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations. William M Denevan, noted author and Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said on this subject in his essay "The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492".
Old World diseases were the primary killer. In many regions the tropical lowlands, populations fell by 90 percent or more in the first century after the contact. "Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the U. S. vary ranging from William M Denevan's 3.8 million in his 1992 w
The Iñupiat are native Alaskan people, whose traditional territory spans Norton Sound on the Bering Sea to the Canada–United States border. Their current communities include seven Alaskan villages in the North Slope Borough, affiliated with the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. Iñupiat Inyupik, is the plural form of the name for the people and the name of their language; the singular form is Iñupiaq, which sometimes refers to the language. Iñupiak is the dual form; the roots are iñuk "person" and -piaq "real", i.e. an endonym meaning "real people". The Iñupiat people are made up of the following communities, To equitably manage natural resources, Iñupiat people belong to several of the Alaskan Native Regional Corporations; these are the following. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Bering Straits Native Corporation NANA Regional Corporation. Inupiat now speak only two native languages: Northwest Alaskan Inupiat. Many more dialects of these languages flourished prior to contact with European cultures.
English is spoken by the Iñupiat because in Native American boarding schools, Iñupiaq children were punished for speaking their own languages. Several Inupiat people developed pictographic writing systems in the early twentieth century, it is known as Alaskan Picture Writing. The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers an online course called Beginning Inupiaq Eskimo, an introductory course to the Inupiaq language open to both speakers and non-speakers of Inupiaq. Along with other Inuit groups, the Iñupiaq originate from the Thule culture. Circa 1000 B. C. the Thule migrated from islands in the Bering Sea to. Iñupiaq groups, in common with Inuit-speaking groups have a name ending in "miut," which means'a people of'. One example is a generic term for inland Iñupiaq caribou hunters. During a period of starvation and an influenza epidemic most of these people moved to the coast or other parts of Alaska between 1890 and 1910. A number of Nunamiut returned to the mountains in the 1930s. By 1950, most Nunamiut groups, such as the Killikmiut, had coalesced in Anaktuvuk Pass, a village in north-central Alaska.
Some of the Nunamiut remained nomadic until the 1950s. The Iditarod Trail's antecedents were the native trails of the Dena'ina and Deg Hit'an Athabaskan Indians and the Inupiaq Eskimos. Iñupiat people are hunter-gatherers. Iñupiat people continue to rely on subsistence hunting and fishing. Depending on their location, they harvest walrus, whale, polar bears and fish. Both the inland and coastal Iñupiat depend on fish. Throughout the seasons when they are available food staples include ducks, rabbits, berries and shoots; the inland Iñupiat hunt caribou, dall sheep, grizzly bear, moose. The coastal Iñupiat hunt walrus, beluga whales, bowhead whales. Cautiously, polar bear is hunted; the capture of a whale benefits each member of an Iñupiat community, as the animal is butchered and its meat and blubber are allocated according to a traditional formula. City-dwelling relatives, thousands of miles away, are entitled to a share of each whale killed by the hunters of their ancestral village. Maktak, the skin and blubber of Bowhead and other whales, is rich in vitamins A and C.
The Vitamin C content of meats is destroyed by cooking, so consumption of raw meats and these vitamin-rich foods contributes to good health in a population with limited access to fruits and vegetables. Since the 1970s, oil and other resources have been an important revenue source for the Iñupiat; the Alaska Pipeline connects the Prudhoe Bay wells with the port of Valdez in south-central Alaska. Because of the oil drilling in Alaska’s arid north, the traditional way of whaling is coming into conflict with one of the modern world’s most pressing demands: finding more oil; the Inupiat eat Ribes triste raw or cooked, mix them with other berries which are used to make a traditional dessert. They mix the berries with rosehips and highbush cranberries and boil them into a syrup. Traditionally, different Iñupiat people lived in sedentary communities; some villages in the area have been occupied by other indigenous groups for more than 10,000 years. The Nalukataq is a spring whaling festival among Iñupiat.
There is one Iñupiat culture-oriented institute of higher education, Iḷisaġvik College, located in Utqiagvik. Iñupiat people have grown more concerned in recent years that climate change is threatening their traditional lifestyle; the warming trend in the Arctic affects their lifestyle in numerous ways, for example: thinning sea ice makes it more difficult to harvest bowhead whales, seals and other traditional foods. The Inuit Circumpolar Council, a group representing indigenous peoples of the Arctic, has made the case that climate change represents a threat to their human rights; as of the 2000 U. S. Census, the Iñupiat population in the United States numbered more than 19,000. Most of them live in Alaska. North Slope Borough: Anaktuvuk Pass, Utqiagvik, Nuiqsut, Point Hope, Point Lay, Wainwright Northwest Arctic Borough: Ambler, Deering, Kian
The Yup'ik or Yupiaq and Yupiit or Yupiat Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Central Yup'ik, Alaskan Yup'ik, are an Eskimo people of western and southwestern Alaska ranging from southern Norton Sound southwards along the coast of the Bering Sea on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and along the northern coast of Bristol Bay as far east as Nushagak Bay and the northern Alaska Peninsula at Naknek River and Egegik Bay. They are known as Cup'ik by the Chevak Cup'ik dialect-speaking Eskimos of Chevak and Cup'ig for the Nunivak Cup'ig dialect-speaking Eskimo of Nunivak Island. Both Chevak Cup'ik and Nunivak Cup'ig Eskimos are known as Cup'ik; the Yup'ik, Cup'ik, Cup'ig speakers can converse without difficulty, the regional population is described using the larger term of Yup'ik. They are one of the four Yupik peoples of Alaska and Siberia related to the Sugpiaq ~ Alutiiq of south-central Alaska, the Siberian Yupik of St. Lawrence Island and Russian Far East, the Naukan of Russian Far East; the Yupiit speak the Yup'ik language.
Of a total population of about 21,000 people, about 10,000 speak the language. The Yup'ik Eskimo combine a contemporary and a traditional subsistence lifestyle in a blend unique to the Southwest Alaska. Today, the Yup'ik work and live in western style but still hunt and fish in traditional subsistence ways and gather traditional foods. Most Yup'ik people still speak the native language and bilingual education has been in force since the 1970s; the Yupiit are the most numerous of the various Alaska Native groups and speak the Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, a member of the Eskimo–Aleut family of languages. As of the 2000 U. S. Census, the Yupiit population in the United States numbered over 24,000, of whom over 22,000 lived in Alaska; the vast majority of these live in the seventy or so communities in the traditional Yup'ik territory of western and southwestern Alaska. As of the 2010 U. S. Census, the Yup'ik at 34,000 people is the largest Alaska Native tribal grouping, either alone or in combination followed by the Inupiat.
The Yup'ik had the greatest number of people who identified with one tribal grouping and no other race. In that census, nearly half of American Indians and Alaska Natives identified as being of mixed race; the neighbours of the Yup'ik Eskimos are the Iñupiaq Eskimo to the north, Aleutized Alutiiq ~ Sugpiaq Eskimos to the south, Alaskan Athabaskans, such as Yup'ikized Holikachuk and Deg Hit'an, non-Yup'ikized Koyukon and Dena'ina, to the east. The form Yup'ik was used in the northern area while the form Yupiaq was used in the southern area. Certain places had other forms; the form Yup'ik is now used as a common term. Yup'ik comes from the Yup'ik word yuk meaning "person" plus the postbase -pik or -piaq meaning "real" or "genuine"; the ethnographic literature sometimes refers to the Yup ` ik people or their language as Yuit. In the Hooper Bay-Chevak and Nunivak dialects of Yup'ik, both the language and the people are given the name Cup'ik; the use of an apostrophe in the name "Yup'ik", compared to Siberian "Yupik", exemplifies the Central Yup'ik's orthography.
"The apostrophe represents gemination of the'p' sound". The names given to them by their neighbors: Alutiiq ~ Sugpiaq: Pamana'rmiu'aq, Pamanirmiuq Deg Xinag Athabaskan: Dodz xit'an, Novogh xit'an Holikachuk Athabaskan: Namagh hit'an Koyukon Athabaskan: Nobaagha hut'aankkaa Dena'ina Athabaskan: Dutna, Naghelghazhna Upper Kuskokwim Athabaskan: Dodina sg Dodinayu pl The common ancestors of the Eskimo and the Aleut are believed by archaeologists to have their origin in eastern Siberia. Migrating east, they reached the Bering Sea area about 10,000 years ago. Research on blood types and linguistics suggests that the ancestors of American Indians reached North America in waves of migration before the ancestors of the Eskimo and Aleut; this causeway became exposed between 8,000 years ago during periods of glaciation. By about 3,000 years ago the progenitors of the Yupiit had settled along the coastal areas of what would become western Alaska, with migrations up the coastal rivers—notably the Yukon and Kuskokwim—around 1400 C.
E. reaching as far upriver as Paimiut on the Yukon and Crow Village on the Kuskokwim. The Russian colonization of the Americas lasted from 1732 to 1867; the Russian Empire supported ships traveling from Siberia to America for whaling and fishing expeditions. The crews established hunting and trading posts of the Shelikhov-Golikov Company in the Aleutian Islands and northern Alaska indigenous settlements.. Half of the fur traders were Russians, such as promyshlenniki from various European parts of the Russian Empire or from Siberia. Grigory Shelikhov led attacks on Kodiak Island against the indigenous Alutiiq in 1784, known as the Awa'uq Massacre. According to some estimates, Russian employees of the trading company killed more than 2,000 Alutiiq; the company took over control of the island. By the late 1790s, its trading posts had become the centers of permanent settlements of Russian America