American English, Haida, Tsimshianic languages, Eskimo–Aleut languages, Chinook Jargon, Na-Dené languages, others
Alaska Natives are indigenous peoples of Alaska: Inupiaq, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures.
Ancestors of the Alaska Natives are known to have migrated into the area thousands of years ago, and established varying indigenous, complex cultures that have succeeded each other over time. They developed sophisticated ways to deal with the challenging climate and environment. Europeans and Americans began to trade with Alaska Natives in the nineteenth century. New settlements around trading posts were started by Russians, British and Americans.
In 1971 the United States Congress passed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which settled land and financial claims for lands and resources which they had lost to European Americans. It provided for the establishment of 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations to administer those claims. Similar to the separately defined status of the Canadian Inuit and First Nations, which are recognized as distinct peoples, Alaska Natives are in some respects treated separately from Native Americans in the United States. An example of this separate treatment is that Alaska Natives are allowed the harvesting of whales and other marine mammals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.