Many Alaskan Natives rely on hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering edible plants to survive. They would cover great distances searching for food. The Ingalik Athabaskans, who lived along the lower Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, learned greater aspects of the lifestyles of their inland Yupik Eskimo neighbors. They lived in permanent villages, unlike the Athabaskans to the East, and relied more on salmon than on large animals for their food. Other Alaska Athabaskan groups hunted for large animals, mostly caribou, in the fall. At that time, moose gathered near rivers in search of mates, and fattened bears prepared to enter their dens making them more predictable targets. Alaskan Natives used all the parts of an animal they killed for food. They ate the meat and fat, crafted bones into weapons and tools. The tendons, when dried, were used to provide sinew that the women used for sewing, and all types of hides were used for clothing and tent covers.
Many Alaska Natives groups relied heavily on fish. Sometimes they would use fish skin to make waterproof parkas and boots. At the Unalakleet, on the coast of Norton Sound, the Athabascans traded with the Yupik and Inupiaq. In Nulato, on the Yukon River, Koyukon Athabascans met with the Yupik Eskimos to exchange beaver, marten, and mink furs for sea lion skins and fancy tanned parkas. Animals were a very important resource for the Native peoples all over Alaska. They were also very well respected. Natives to this day rely on the animals that surround their area, as well as Southern, Eastern, and Western areas.
[Starting Point] [Alaska Lands] [Geologic Past] [Hiking/Bush Life] [Environmental Problems] [Flora & Fauna] [Food] [Maps] [Traditions] [History] [Interviews] [Native Heritage Links] [Search the Site] [Feedback] [About the Site] [Acknowledgement] © 1999 ThinkQuest ID 26020