Alaska Indian Tribes
Signifying "Ice People" See
A name of unknown origin but traced
with some plausibility to the Chukchi word aliat,
meaning "island," which is supposed to have
been bestowed upon the inhabitants of the
Aleutian Islands through a misunderstanding.
Signifying "Kutchin farthest downstream."
Connections. The Dihai-kutchin were a band or tribe of the Kutchin division of the Athapascan linguistic stock. They are added to Osgood's (1936) list of true Kutchin tribes on the authority of Robert McKennan. (1935).
Location. The Dihai-kutchin lived about the north fork of Chandalar River, and the Middle and South Forks of the Koyokuk River, Alaska.
Population. The Dihai-kutchin were never numerous and are now extinct as a separate body of Indians.
All of the coast lands of Alaska from Kayak Island near the
mouth of Copper River to the Canadian boundary on the Arctic coast were fringed
with Eskimo settlements except the upper end of Cook Inlet and that part of
Alaska Peninsula which, with the Aleutian Islands, was occupied by the cognate
Aleut. (See Aleut and
A part of this tribe settled on Prince of Wales and Dall Islands
early in the eighteenth century and are locally known as Kaigani. (See
Haida under Canada.) The Kaigani population in 1910 numbered 530; in 1920, 524; and in 1930, 588.
Han. Signifying "those who dwell along the river."
Connections. Athapascan linguistic stock.
Location. The Yukon River drainage between latitude 64° and 66° N., in east central Alaska and Yukon Territory, Canada.
Katshikotin or Eagle group (about the village of Eagle on Yukon River), including Johnny's Village and probably also Charlie's Village or Tadush (near the mouth of Kandik River), Takon of Nuklako (centering at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers), and perhaps
a third, Fetutlin (near the mouth of Forty Mile Creek.).
Population. Mooney (1928) estimates that there were 200 Han in 1740.
Name given by the Eskimo but widely used as applied to these
Connections. The Ingalik were one of the westernmost divisions of the Athapascan linguistic stock.
Location. Between Anvik and Holy Cross on the lower Yukon River, including the drainage of the Anvik River and the region southeast to the Kuskokwim River, including its drainage above Georgetown.
Osgood (1934) makes the following subdivisions:
(1) Anvik-Shageluk group, centering around the villages bearing these names.
(2) Bonasila group, centering around the village of the same name.
(3) Holy Cross-Georgetown group, centering around the villages bearing these names.
(4) McGrath group, the people of the drainage of the upper Kuskokwim River; this group somewhat arbitrarily constructed.
Villages Reported in this Area
Akmiut, a little above Kolmakof on Kuskokwim River.
Anvik, at the junction of Anvik and Yukon Rivers.
Chagvagchat, near the headwaters of Anvik River.
Inselnostlinde, on Shageluk River.
Intenleiden, on the east bank of Shageluk River.
Khugiligichakat, on Shageluk River.
Khunanilinde, near the headwaters of Kuskokwim River.
Koserefski, on the left bank of the Yukon near the mouth of Shageluk Slough, later an Ikogmiut Eskimo village.
Kuingshtetakten, on Shageluk River.
Kviginmpainag, on the east bank of Yukon River, 20 miles from Kvikak.
Napai, on the north bank of Kuskokwim River.
Palshikatno, on Innoko River.
Tigshelde, on Innoko River.
Tlegoshitno, on Shageluk River.
Vagitchitchate, near the mouth of Innoko River.
A contraction of Koyukukhotana,
"people of Koyukuk River." See
Signifying "those who dwell on the flats," called Yukon Flats Kutchin by Osgood (1936). They have also called as follows, but the Eskimo terms are applicable to any Kutchin.
From the name of Nabesna River, the meaning of which is unknown.
Connections. The Nabesna belonged to the Athapascan linguistic family.
Location. In the entire drainage area of the Nabesna and Chisana Rivers, including the tributaries of the Tanana River, which they form at their confluence, as far down as the Tok River; the upper White River, including its tributaries the Beaver and the Snag, and the headwaters of the Ladue; together an area roughly enclosed between latitude 61°31' and 63°30' N., and longitude 141°30' and 143°30' W. (Dr. Robert C. McKennan through
According to McKennan (1935), including the following "extremely fluid bands:"
(1)Ranged about Last Tetling Lake and the Tetling River.
(2)Ranged about the mouth of the Nabesna River.
(3)Ranged from the head of the Nabesna through the upper Chisana River to the White.
(4)Ranged from Scottie Creek to the Snag.
The first of these evidently includes the Nutzotin of earlier writers with their villages of Nandell near Wagner Lake and Tetling, and the third the Santotin. Khiltats, at the mouth of Nabesna River, must have belonged to the second division.
Villages. Allen (1887) mentions the village of Khiltats at the mouth of the Nabesna River.
History. White contact with these people was made in 1885 and a settlement established at Chisana in 1913.
This is a tribe of the Chimmesyan
linguistic family which lived just beyond the boundaries
of Alaska to the southeast and al times hunted over some
of its territory. It belonged properly to British
Columbia. (See Canada.)
Signifying "those who dwell off the flats [i. e., Yukon River]." Also called:
Gens du Large, by Ross (MS), from which came the name of Chandelar River.
Natehe'-Kutchin, by Dail (1877, p. 430).
Neyetse-kutchi, by Richardson (1851, vol. 1, p. 309).
Tpe-ttchié-dhidié-Kouttchin, by Petitot (1891).
Connections. The Natsit-kutchin were one of the tribes of the Kutchin group of the northern division of the Athapascan linguistics stock.
Location. On Chandelar River.
Population. Mooney (1928) estimated 200 Natsit-kutchin as of the year 1740. The census of 1910 returned 177. (See
Own name, meaning, "people" exclusive of Eskimo and Europeans. Also called Knaiakhotana.
Named from the Tanana River.
Connections.-The Tanana belonged to the northern division of the Athapascan linguistic family. They were formerly erroneously classed among the Kutchin tribes.
Location.-"The drainage of the lower Tanana River below the Tok River, the region about the confluence of the Tanana and Yukon, and the region along the latter river above the confluence." [Osgood, 1936.)
Subdivisions and Villages
Clatehotin, on Tanana River.
Huntlatin, on Tanana River.
Minchumina Lake people, around the lake of that name.
Nuklukayet, a rendezvous for various tribes, on the north bank of the Yukon just below the mouth of the Tanana.
Nukluktana, on Tanana River just below Tutlut River.
Tatsa, on Yukon River.
Tolwatin, on Tanana River.
Tozikakat, north bank of the Yukon at the mouth of Tozi River.
Tutlut, at the junction of Tutlut and Tanana Rivers.
Weare, at the mouth of Tanana River.
Population. Mooney (1928) estimates a possible population of 500 in 1740 including the Nabesna. Richardson (1851) cut this estimate to 100. Da11 (1870) made it 500, Petroff (1884), 300-700, Allen (1887) 600, the census of 1890, 373. In 1900, 370 were given and by the census of 1910, 415. (See
Meaning "middle people." Also called:
Birch Creek Kutchin, Osgood (1934, p. 172)
Birch River Indians, Whymper (1868, p. 255).
Gens de Bouleaux, Dall (1870 p. 431)
Connections. The Tennuth-Kutchin were a tribe of the Kutch in group of the northern division of the Athapascan stock.
Location. In the region of Birch Creek.
Population. Mooney (1928) estimated that there were about 100 Tennuth-Kutchin in 1740. They have long been extinct having been swept away in 1863, according to Dall (1870), by an epidemic of scarlet fever. (See Kutcha-kutchin.)
(literally Lingi`t). Signifying "people," in their own language Also called:
Kolusehan, a name given to them as a linguistic family by Powell (I H4111), originally a Russian or Aleut term referring to the labrets worn by their women.
Signifying "one who dwells along the river [i. e. the Black River]." Also called:
Black River Kutchin, by Osgood (1936).
Cache River People, by Cadzow (1925).
Connections. The Tranjik-kutchin belonged to the Kutchin group of tribes of the northern division of the Athapascan linguistic stock
Location. In the country around Black River.
The home of the Tsimshian is on
Skeena River, British Columbia, and the coast to the southward. In 1887,
however, Rev. William Duncan, missionary of the Church of England at Metlakatla,
15 miles south of Port Simpson, having become involved in difficulties with his
superiors, moved to Annette Island, Alaska, with the greater part of the Indians
who had been under his charge. A grant of land was subsequently obtained from
the United States Government, and the Tsimshian have continued in occupancy. The
census of 1910 reported 729; that of 1920, 842; and that of 1930, 845. (See
Signifying "those who dwell among the lakes." Also called:
Crow River Kutchin, by Osgood (1934, p. 173), from a stream in their country.
Gens des Rats, by Dall (1877, p. 31).
Rat People, by Dall (1869, p. 261).
Zjén-ta-Kouttchin, by Petitot (1891, p. 361), meaning "muskrat people," a name probably based on a legend, though a tributary of the Porcupine is called Rat River.
Connections. The Vunta-kutchin are one of the group of Kutchin tribes belonging to the northern division of the Athapascan linguistic family.
Location. On the middle course of Porcupine River and the country to the northward, including Old Crow Creek.
Population. Mooney (1928) estimated that the Vunta-Kutchin together with the Tukkuth-kutchin, and Tutcone-kutchin comprised a population of 2,200 in 1670, but they had been reduced to 1,700 in 1906 and the census of 1910 returned only 5 under this name by itself (See
Notes About the Book:
Source: The Indian Tribes of North America, by John R. Swanton, 1953, Bureau of
American Ethnology, Bulletin 145, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC.
Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and then ocr'd. Minimal editing
has been done, and readers can and should expect some errors in the textual