The Spanish word ranchería, or rancherío, refers to a small, rural settlement. In the Americas the term was applied to native bunkhouses. English adopted the term with both these meanings to designate the residential area of a rancho in the American Southwest, housing aboriginal ranch hands and their families; the term is still used in other parts of Spanish America, for example, the Wayuu tribes in northern Colombia call their villages rancherías. The Columbia Encyclopedia describes it as: a type of communal settlement characteristic of the Yaqui Indians of Sonora, Tepehuanes of Durango, of various small Native American groups of the Southwestern U. S. in California. These clusters of dwellings were less permanent than the pueblos but more so than the camps of the migratory Native Americans; the term could be applied to the settlements of the California Mission Indians beyond the Spanish missions, such as Maugna of the Tongva people. In California, the term refers to a total of 59 Indian settlements established by the U.
S. government, 54 of them between 1906 and 1934, for the survivors of the aboriginal population. San Diego State University maintains a reference titled California Indians and Their Reservations: An Online Dictionary, it says: The Spanish term for small Indian settlements. Rancherías are a particular California institution. A small area of land was set aside around an Indian settlement to create a ranchería; some rancherías developed from small communities of Indians formed on the outskirts of American settlements who were fleeing Americans or avoiding removal to the reservations. With the passage of Public Law 83-280 in the mid-1950s, terminating federal supervision and control over California tribes, some 40 rancherías lost the right to certain federal programs, their lands no longer had the protection of federal status. In 1983, a lawsuit resulted in restoring federal recognition to 17 rancherías, with others still waiting for the reversal of their termination; the word migrated north with the 49ers to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush in an adapted form, "rancherie".
It survives in British Columbia as a somewhat archaic but still used word, in rural areas and small towns, as well as in general First Nations English usage, meaning the residential area of an Indian Reserve. It means the historical residential area, as opposed to newer subdivisions, it was further extended to refer to other non-white residential communities, such as the Kanaka Rancherie in early Vancouver, British Columbia, which came to house the city's Kanaka residents. In an more truncated form, the Ranche was used to refer to the Tlingit portion of Sitka, Alaska. Indian colony Indian reserve, Canada Indian reservation Rancherie, Canada California ranchos
In Canada, the First Nations are the predominant indigenous peoples in Canada south of the Arctic Circle. Those in the Arctic area are distinct and known as Inuit; the Métis, another distinct ethnicity, developed after European contact and relations between First Nations people and Europeans. There are 634 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. Under the Employment Equity Act, First Nations are a "designated group", along with women, visible minorities, people with physical or mental disabilities. First Nations are not defined as a visible minority under the Act or by the criteria of Statistics Canada. North American indigenous; some of their oral traditions describe historical events, such as the Cascadia earthquake of 1700 and the 18th-century Tseax Cone eruption. Written records began with the arrival of European explorers and colonists during the Age of Discovery, beginning in the late 15th century.
European accounts by trappers, traders and missionaries give important evidence of early contact culture. In addition and anthropological research, as well as linguistics, have helped scholars piece together an understanding of ancient cultures and historic peoples. Although not without conflict, Euro-Canadians' early interactions with First Nations, Métis, Inuit populations were less combative compared to the violent battles between colonists and native peoples in the United States. Collectively, First Nations, Métis peoples constitute Indigenous peoples in Canada, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, or first peoples. First Nation as a term became used beginning in 1980s to replace the term Indian band in referring to groups of Indians with common government and language; the term had come into common usage in the 1970s to avoid using the word Indian, which some Canadians considered offensive. No legal definition of the term exists; some indigenous peoples in Canada have adopted the term First Nation to replace the word band in the formal name of their community.
A band is a "body of Indians for whose use and benefit in common lands... have been set apart... moneys are held... or declared... to be a band for the purposes of" the Indian Act by the Canadian Crown. The term Indian is a misnomer given to indigenous peoples of North America by European explorers who erroneously thought they had landed on the Indian subcontinent; the use of the term Native Americans, which the US government and others have adopted, is not common in Canada. It refers more to the Indigenous peoples residing within the boundaries of the United States; the parallel term Native Canadian is not used, but Native and autochtone are. Under the Royal Proclamation of 1763 known as the "Indian Magna Carta," the Crown referred to indigenous peoples in British territory as tribes or nations; the term First Nations is capitalized. Bands and nations may have different meanings. Within Canada, First Nations has come into general use for indigenous peoples other than Inuit and Métis. Individuals using the term outside Canada include U.
S. tribes within the Pacific Northwest, as well as supporters of the Cascadian independence movement. The singular used on culturally politicized reserves, is the term First Nations person. A more recent trend is for members of various nations to refer to themselves by their tribal or national identity only, e.g. "I'm Haida". For pre-history, see: Paleo-Indians and Archaic periods First Nations by linguistic-cultural area: List of First Nations peoplesFirst Nations peoples had settled and established trade routes across what is now Canada by 1,000 BC to 500 BC. Communities developed, each with its own culture and character. In the northwest were the Athapaskan-speaking peoples, Slavey, Tłı̨chǫ, Tutchone-speaking peoples, Tlingit. Along the Pacific coast were the Haida, Kwakiutl, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nisga'a and Gitxsan. In the plains were the Blackfoot, Kainai and Northern Peigan. In the northern woodlands were the Chipewyan. Around the Great Lakes were the Anishinaabe, Algonquin and Wyandot. Along the Atlantic coast were the Beothuk, Innu and Micmac.
The Blackfoot Confederacies reside in the Great Plains of Montana and Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The name "Blackfoot" came from the colour of the peoples' leather footwear, known as moccasins, they had painted the bottoms of their moccasins black. One account claimed that the Blackfoot Confederacies walked through the ashes of prairie fires, which in turn coloured the bottoms of their moccasins black, they had migrated onto the Great Plains from the Plateau area. The Blackfoot may have lived in their homeland since the end of the Pleistocene 11,000 years ago.. For thousands of years, they managed the prairie to support bison herds and cultivated berries and edible roots, they allowed only legitimate traders into their territory, making treaties only when the bison herds were exterminated in the 1870s. The Squamish history is a series of past events, both passed on through oral tradition and recent history, of the Squamish indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
Prior to colonization, they recorded their history through oral tradition as a way to transmit stories and knowledge across generations. This was common among all the peoples; the writing system esta
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 18, 1971, constituting at the time the largest land claims settlement in United States history. ANCSA was intended to resolve long-standing issues surrounding aboriginal land claims in Alaska, as well as to stimulate economic development throughout Alaska; the settlement established Alaska Native claims to the land by transferring titles to twelve Alaska Native regional corporations and over 200 local village corporations. A thirteenth regional corporation was created for Alaska Natives who no longer resided in Alaska; the act is codified as 43 U. S. C. 1601 et seq. When Alaska became a state in 1959, section 4 of the Alaska Statehood Act provided that any existing Alaska Native land claims would be unaffected by statehood and held in status quo, yet while section 4 of the act preserved Native land claims until settlement, section 6 allowed for the state government to claim lands deemed vacant. Section 6 granted the state of Alaska the right to select lands in the hands of the federal government, with the exception of Native territory.
As a result, nearly 104.5 million acres from the public domain would be transferred to the state. The state government attempted to acquire lands under section 6 of the Statehood Act that were subject to Native claims under section 4, that were occupied and used by Alaska Natives; the federal Bureau of Land Management began to process the Alaska government's selections without taking into account the Native claims and without informing the affected Native groups. It was against this backdrop. A 9.2-magnitude earthquake struck the state in 1964. Recovery efforts drew the attention of the federal government, which found that Alaska Natives had the poorest living conditions in the country; the Federal Field Committee for Development Planning in Alaska decided that Natives should receive $100 million and 10% of revenue as a royalty. Nothing was done with this proposal, a freeze on land transfers remained in effect. In 1966, Emil Notti called for a statewide meeting inviting numerous leaders around Alaska to gather and create the first meeting of a committee.
The historic meeting was held October 18, 1966 - on the 99th anniversary of the transfer of Alaska from Russia. Notti presided over the three-day conference as it discussed matters of land recommendations, claims committee's, political challenges the act would have getting through congress. Many respected politicians and business men attended the meeting and delegates were astonished at the attention which they received from well-known political figures of the state; the growing presence and political importance of Natives was evidenced when association leaders were elected to the legislature. Members of the associated gathered and were able to gain seven of the sixty seats in the legislature; when the group met a second time early in 1967, it emerged with a new name, The Alaska Federation of Natives, a new full-time President, Emil Notti. AFN would change the human rights and economic stability of the Alaska Native population forever. In 1968, Governor Walter Hickel summoned a group of Native leaders to work out a settlement that would be satisfactory to Natives.
The group asked for $20 million in exchange for requested lands. They asked for 10% of federal mineral lease revenue. In 1969, President Nixon appointed Hickel as Secretary of the Interior; the Alaska Federation of Natives protested against Hickel's nomination, but he was confirmed. Hickel worked with the AFN, negotiating with Native leaders and state government over the disputed lands. Offers went forth, with each rejecting the other's proposals; the AFN wanted rights to land, while then-Governor Keith Miller believed Natives did not have legitimate claims to state land in light of the provisions of the Alaska Statehood Act. But a succeeding Alaska state administration under Governor William A. Egan would stake out positions upon which the AFN and other stakeholders could agree. Native leaders, in addition to Alaska's congressional delegation and the state's newly elected Governor William A. Egan reached the basis for presenting an agreement to Congress; the proposed settlement terms faced challenges in both houses but found a strong ally in Senator Henry M. Jackson from Washington state.
The most controversial issues that continued to hold up approval were methods for determining land selection by Alaska Natives and financial distribution. In 1968, the Atlantic-Richfield Company discovered oil at Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic coast, catapulting the issue of land ownership into headlines. In order to lessen the difficulty of drilling at such a remote location and transporting the oil to the lower 48 states, the oil companies proposed building a pipeline to carry the oil across Alaska to the port of Valdez At Valdez, the oil would be loaded onto tankers and shipped to the contiguous states; the plan had been approved, but a permit to construct the pipeline, which would cross lands involved in the land claims dispute, could not be granted until the Native claims were settled. With major petroleum dollars on the line, pressure mounted to achieve a definitive legislative resolution at the federal level. In 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was signed into law by President Nixon.
It abrogated Native claims to aboriginal lands except those. In return, Natives were paid $963 million; the land and money were to be divided among regional and village tribal corporations established under the law recognizing existing leadership. In
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
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the U. S. Department of the Interior, it is responsible for the administration and management of 55,700,000 acres of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American Tribes and Alaska Natives. The BIA is one of two bureaus under the jurisdiction of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs: the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education, which provides education services to 48,000 Native Americans; the BIA’s responsibilities included providing health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives. In 1954 that function was transferred to the Department of Health and Welfare, it is now known as the Indian Health Service. Located in Washington, D. C. the BIA is headed by a bureau director. The current assistant secretary is Tara Sweeney; the BIA oversees 567 federally recognized tribes through 4 offices: Office of Indian Services: operates the BIA’s general assistance, disaster relief, Indian child welfare, tribal government, Indian Self-Determination, Indian Reservation Roads Program.
Office of Justice Services: directly operates or funds law enforcement, tribal courts, detention facilities on federal Indian lands. OJS funded 208 law enforcement agencies, consisting of 43 BIA-operated police agencies, 165 tribally operated agencies under contract, or compact with the OJS; the office has seven areas of activity: Criminal Investigations and Police Services, Detention/Corrections, Inspection/Internal Affairs, Tribal Law Enforcement and Special Initiatives, the Indian Police Academy, Tribal Justice Support, Program Management. The OJS provides oversight and technical assistance to tribal law enforcement programs when and where requested, it operates four divisions: Corrections, Drug Enforcement, the Indian Police Academy, Law Enforcement. Office of Trust Services: works with tribes and individual American Indians and Alaska Natives in the management of their trust lands and resources; the Office of Field Operations: oversees 12 regional offices. Agencies to relate to Native Americans had existed in the U.
S. government since 1775, when the Second Continental Congress created a trio of Indian-related agencies. Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry were appointed among the early commissioners to negotiate treaties with Native Americans to obtain their neutrality during the American Revolutionary War. In 1789, the U. S. Congress placed Native American relations within the newly formed War Department. By 1806 the Congress had created a Superintendent of Indian Trade, or "Office of Indian Trade" within the War Department, charged with maintaining the factory trading network of the fur trade; the post was held by Thomas L. McKenney from 1816 until the abolition of the factory system in 1822; the government licensed traders to have some control in Indian territories and gain a share of the lucrative trade. The abolition of the factory system left a vacuum within the U. S. government regarding Native American relations. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was formed on March 11, 1824, by Secretary of War John C.
Calhoun, who created the agency as a division within his department, without authorization from the United States Congress. He appointed McKenney as the first head of the office. McKenney preferred to call it the "Indian Office", whereas the current name was preferred by Calhoun. In 1832 Congress established the position of Commissioner of Indian Affairs. In 1849 Indian Affairs was transferred to the U. S. Department of the Interior. In 1869, Ely Samuel Parker was the first Native American to be appointed as commissioner of Indian affairs. One of the most controversial policies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs was the late 19th to early 20th century decision to educate native children in separate boarding schools, with an emphasis on assimilation that prohibited them from using their indigenous languages and cultures, it emphasized being educated to European-American culture. The bureau was renamed from Office of Indian Affairs to Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1947. With the rise of American Indian activism in the 1960s and 1970s and increasing demands for enforcement of treaty rights and sovereignty, the 1970s were a turbulent period of BIA history.
The rise of activist groups such as the American Indian Movement worried the U. S. government. As a branch of the U. S. government with personnel on Indian reservations, BIA police were involved in political actions such as: The occupation of BIA headquarters in Washington, D. C. in 1972: On November 3, 1972, a group of around 500 American Indians with the AIM took over the BIA building, the culmination of their Trail of Broken Treaties walk. They intended to bring attention to American Indian issues, including their demands for renewed negotiation of treaties, enforcement of treaty rights and improvement in living standards, they occupied the Department of Interior headquarters from November 3 to November 9, 1972. Feeling the government was ignoring them, the protesters vandalized the building. After a week, the protesters left. Many records were lost, destroyed or stolen, including irreplaceable treati
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
Alaska Natives are indigenous peoples of Alaska, United States and include: Iñupiat, Aleut, Tlingit, Tsimshian, a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures. They are defined by their language groups. Many Alaska Natives are enrolled in federally recognized Alaska Native tribal entities, who in turn belong to 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations, who administer land and financial claims. Ancestors of Alaska Natives migrated into the area thousands of years ago, in at least two different waves; some are descendants of a third wave of migration in which people settled across the northern part of North America. They never migrated to southern areas. For this reason, genetic studies show they are not related to Native Americans in South America. Throughout the Arctic and the circumpolar north, the ancestors of Alaska Natives established varying indigenous, complex cultures that have succeeded each other over time, they developed sophisticated ways to deal with the challenging climate and environment, cultures rooted in the place.
Historic groups have been defined by their languages, which belong to several major language families. Today, Alaska Natives comprise over 15% of the population of Alaska. Below is a full list of the different Alaska Native peoples, which are defined by their historic languages. Within each culture are many different tribes. Ancient Beringian Alaskan Athabaskans Ahtna Deg Hit'an Dena'ina Gwich'in Hän Holikachuk Koyukon Lower Tanana Tanacross Upper Tanana Upper Kuskokwim Eyak Tlingit Haida Tsimshian Eskimo Iñupiat, an Inuit group Yupik Siberian Yupik Yup'ik Cup'ik Nunivak Cup'ig Sugpiaq ~ Alutiiq Chugach Sugpiaq Koniag Alutiiq Aleut The Alaska Natives Commission estimated that there were about 86,000 Alaska Natives living in Alaska in 1990, with another 17,000 who lived outside Alaska. A 2013 study by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development documented over 120,000 Alaska Native people in Alaska. While the majority of Alaska Natives live in small villages or remote regional hubs such as Nome and Bethel, the percentage who live in urban areas has been increasing.
In 2010, 44 % lived compared to 38 % in the 2000 census. The modern history of Alaskan natives begins with the arrival of Europeans. Unusually for North America it was the Russians, coming from Siberia in the eighteenth century, who were the first to make contact. British and American traders did not reach the area until the nineteenth century, in some cases missionaries were not active until the twentieth century. Arriving from Siberia by ship in the mid-eighteenth century, Russians began to trade with Alaska Natives. New settlements around trading posts were started by Russians, including Russian Orthodox missionaries; these were the first to translate Christian scripture into Native languages. In the 21st century, the numerous congregations of Russian Orthodox Christians in Alaska are composed of Alaska Natives. Rather than hunting the marine life, the Russians forced the Aleuts to do the work for them; as word spread of the riches in furs to be had, competition among Russian companies increased and they forced the Aleuts into slavery.
Catherine the Great, who became Empress in 1763, proclaimed good will toward the Aleut and urged her subjects to treat them fairly. The growing competition between the trading companies, merging into fewer and more powerful corporations, created conflicts that aggravated the relations with the indigenous populations. Over the years, the situation became catastrophic for the natives; as the animal populations declined, the Aleuts too dependent on the new barter economy created by the Russian fur trade, were coerced into taking greater risks in the dangerous waters of the North Pacific to hunt for more otter. As the Shelikhov-Golikov Company and Russian-American Company developed as a monopoly, it used skirmishes and systematic violence as a tool of colonial exploitation of the indigenous people; when the Aleut revolted and won some victories, the Russians retaliated, killing many and destroying their boats and hunting gear, leaving them no means of survival. The most devastating effects were from disease: during the first two generations of Russian contact, 80 percent of the Aleut population died from Eurasian infectious diseases.
These were endemic among the Europeans, but the Aleut had no immunity against the new diseases. Geopolitical reasons drove the Tsarist government to expand into Indigenous territory in present day Alaska, spreading Russian Orthodoxy and consuming the natural resources of the territory along their way, their movement into these populated areas of Indigenous communities altered the demographic and natural landscape. Historians have suggested that the Russian-American Company exploited Indigenous peoples as a source of inexpensive labour; the fur trade led the Russian American Company to not only use Indigenous populations for labour, but to use them as hostages to acquire iasak. Iasak, a form of taxation used by the Russians, was a tribute in the form of otter pelts, it was a taxation method the Russians had found useful in their early encounter with Indigenous communities of Siberia during the Siberian fur trade. Beaver pelts were customary to be given to fur traders upon first contact with various communities.
The Russian American Company used military force on Indigenous families as they were taken hostage and held until the male community members brought forth furs. Otter furs on Kodiak Island and Aleutian Islands enticed the Russians to start these taxations. Robbery and maltreatment in the form of corporal punishment and the withholding of food was present upon the arrival of fur traders. Catherine the Great dissolv