The inspiring people of the north
Although still a fairly young state, Alaska’s own culture extends back thousands of years before its union with the United States. The Alaskan culture is rich in stories and life-lessons gleaned from many cultures and years of living in a challenging but inspiring climate. During your Alaska tour, you’ll learn just how this state has blended the best of both the old and the new.
The majority of people now living in Alaska are white. Some are descendents from the first Europeans who settled the area, and others are modern-day explorers from foreign countries and the other States, who come seeking adventure and fortune in modern Alaska.
The second-largest cultural group in Alaska consists of American Indians and Alaskan Natives, who make up about 15 percent of the population. There are six distinct groups of American Indians and Alaskan Natives, including the:
The groups’ different geographical locations played a role in when their cultures came in contact with European influence. Each group has its own unique culture and language, all of which you can explore and learn about during an Alaska tour.
The blending of two very distinct cultures has created a state that embraces its traditions while moving happily into the future. Surges in Alaskan exports including fur, fish, timber, gold and oil have all created booms in the population, and each brought a different group of people to the area.
Although many people assume Alaska is a remote state that hasn’t moved with the times, many areas, including Anchorage - the largest city - have mimicked the architecture of the warmer states and adopted many of those states’ habits and ways of life.
The earliest European influence, that of the Russians, has created a lasting presence for the Orthodox Church in much of Alaska, although the Roman Catholic Church and Southern Baptists have the largest followings in Alaska at present. Even with such a variety of faiths congregating in one area, more than half of the population doesn’t consider themselves associated with any religious group.
The fresh delicacies this state has to offer are an integral part of any Alaska tour. From gourmet restaurants to down-home cooking, Alaska offers many delicious regional specialties. Seafood naturally plays a large role in Alaskan cooking, with fresh catches of king crab, salmon and halibut. Wild game and traditional treats like blueberry pie and sourdough pancakes are a must-try for all visitors. Enjoy many of the wild berries and massive vegetables that grow well during Alaska’s periods of long sunlight in the summer.
Alaska’s culture is one of camaraderie and survival. Residents look out for and take care of one another and welcome their guests with open arms. Be sure to spend some time getting to know the locals during your Alaska tour.