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Cook Inlet





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Total Population:
Alaska Native Population:
Median Age:
28.9 years
Median Household Income:
Male-to-Female Ratio:
Drop-Out Rate:
H.S. Graduation Rate:

  Grades 7-12 Enrollment on 10/01/06:

Electricity Cost:
Chenega Bay: 43.5 cents/kWh


Chenega Bay, Eyak, Nanwalek (English Bay), Port Graham, Tatitlek

History & Lifestyle:

Archaeological diggings show that the Chugach people have occupied the area for thousands of years, from the time when the Sound was still largely covered by glaciers during the last ice age. Russian contact impacted the region from an early age as the Chugach people were the first Alaskans to meet Vitus Bering arrived on Kayak Island in 1741, and then later witnessed the founding of Fort Saint Constantine at Nuchek Village in 1793. Famous Spanish, English and American explorers have also left their mark on the history of the region, and during the Early American period, the Region's mineral and fisheries wealth attracted immigrants from all corners of the globe. The shareholders of Chugach Alaska Corporation are composed of three distinct cultures: Aleut, Eskimo, and Indian, who settled the region over many centuries. The Chugach people primarily inhabited the coastal area in Prince William Sound (lower Cook Inlet) and are the dominant Native group in the area. The Eyak peoples migrated down the Copper River in cottonwood canoes and have inhabited a position in the Cordova area for millennia, acting as trade partners and buffers to the upland Ahtna and marine Chugach Eskimos. The Tlingit Indians from Southeast Alaska traveled north along the coastline of the Gulf of Alaska in large war canoes to settle around the eastern mouth of the Copper River Delta.  These three groups bonded in times of peace for trading purposes, yet fought each other vigorously in times of war.



Eyak falls under the Athabascan-Eyak-Tlingit language family and the word itself is derived from the Chugach Eskimo name (Igya'aq) of the Eyak village site near the mouth of the Eyak River. The language was spoken from Yakutat along the south-central Alaska coast to Eyak at the Copper River delta up until the 19th century, but by the 20th century Eyak was only spoken in the village of Eyak. Today there are no more speakers of Eyak-it has become the first Alaska Native language to become extinct in recent history.

Alutiiq (Sugpiaq) is closely related to Central Alaska Yup'ik and is spoken in two dialects, Koniag and Chugach, from the Alaska Peninsula to Prince William Sound, including Kodiak Island. Koniag Alutiiq is spoken on the upper part of the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island (and Afognak Island before it was deserted following the 1964 earthquake). Chugach Alutiiq is spoken on the Kenai Peninsula from English Bay and Port Graham to Prince William Sound where it meets Eyak. The people call themselves Sugpiaq (suk 'person' plus -piaq 'real'), but the name Alutiiq was adopted from a Russian plural form of Aleut, which Russian invaders named Native people they encountered from Attu to Kodiak. Of a total population of about 3,500 Alutiiq people, about 200 still speak the language.

Tlingit (?ingít) is the language of coastal Southeastern Alaska from Yakutat south to Ketchikan. The total Tlingit population in Alaska is about 10,000 in 16 communities with about 300 speakers of the language. Tlingit is one branch of the Athabascan-Eyak-Tlingit language family.


Contact Information:

Chugach Alaska Corporation
3800 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 601
Anchorage, AK 99503

Phone: 907.563.8866
Toll Free: 800.858.2768
Fax: 907.563.8402
Website: http://www.chugach-ak.com/


  • - Drop-out rate, graduation rate, and enrollment: Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
  • - Electricity Cost: AEA PCE Statistical Report FY 2007
  • - History and Lifestyle: Chugach Alaska website, www.chugach-ak.com/historypeople.html
  • - Language: Alaska Native Language Center website, www.uaf.edu/anlc/languages.html, and Krauss, Michael. 2007. "Native Languages of Alaska." In The Vanishing Languages of the Pacific Rim. Edited by Osahito Miyaoka, Osamu Sakiyama, and Michael E. Krauss. Oxford University Press, pp. 406-417.

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