The Iñupiat (in-NOO-pee-at) and the St. Lawrence Island Yupik (Yoo-pik) people call themselves the “Real People" and their homeland is in Alaska's northern and northwestern Arctic region. They largely subsist on what the land provides and still hunt whales, seals, walrus, and other large animals, and gather berries in season. They also hunt birds and fish when conditions are right. The Iñupiat and the St. Lawrence Island Yupik people share similar subsistence patterns, home construction methods, and tools. St. Lawrence Island Yupiks speak Siberian Yupik, which is different from the languages spoken by Yup’ik and Cup’ik peoples in Southwest Alaska.
For more information, visit the Iñupiat Heritage Center in Utqiagvik (Barrow), which has archeological and modern collections focusing on Iñupiat whaling traditions as well as artist workshops and culture, language and history programs. In Kotzebue, visit the Northwest Arctic Heritage Center, which also serves as the visitor center for Kobuk Valley National Park.
Learn more about Alaska Native Culture.