Native American – Alaskan Yupik

Native American – Alaskan Yupik

Native American ǀ American Indian

Yupik woman wearing traditional head covering. Alaskan Yupik

Photo:  Yupik woman wearing traditional head covering

Alaska Natives are the indigenous peoples of Alaska. They include: Aleut, Inuit, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Eyak, and a number of Northern Athabasca cultures. Alaskan natives in Alaska number about 119,241 (as of the 2000 census). There are 229 federally recognized Alaskan villages and five unrecognized Tlingit Alaskan Indian tribes. The Yupik (/ˈjuːpɪk/) are a group of indigenous or aboriginal peoples of western, southwestern, and southcentral Alaska and the Russian Far East. They are Eskimo and are related to the Inuit and Iñupiat peoples. The Central Alaskan Yupik are by far the most numerous of the various Alaska Native groups and speak the Central Alaskan Yup’ik language. Unlike the Athabaskan, the Yupik relied on the elders to tell stories to teach the children about the history and survival techniques. Another distinguishing feature is that the men and women lived in separate structures dug into the ground.

As of the 2001 U.S. Census, the Yupik population in the United States numbered over 24,000, of whom over 22,000 lived in Alaska, the vast majority in the seventy or so communities in the traditional Yup’ik territory of western and southwestern Alaska.

The Native American – Alaskan Yupik  population data represent DNA samples from 100 Native American individuals who, as an Eskimo tribe called the Yupik, settled Alaska’s southwest region. These samples of Alaska’s Native American groups –which make up 19 percent of the state’s population– were obtained by the FBI’s Laboratory Division; by the Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory for the Alaska Dept. of Public Safety; and by the Dept. of Environmental Health at the Center for Genome Information, in the University of Cincinnati.

Source publication: Population studies on three Native Alaska population groups using STR loci, FSI, 2002, p51-57.

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