BUILDING THE FUTURE

OUR PEOPLE AND TRADITION

Tyonek has long been home to many generations of Alaska Native people of the Athabascan region of Alaska. The Dena’ina dialect is our native language. The Tyonek people embrace a culture in the long-held traditions of subsistence, song, dance, storytelling, and religion. Tyonek is a name, a place, and an identity.

The Native Village of Tyonek is located 40 miles south of Anchorage on the west side of the Cook Inlet. Because no roads connect the village to the rest of Alaska, Tyonek is accessible only by small plane or boat.

The first recorded encounter between the Dena’ina and the Europeans occurred in May of 1778, when the British naval ships The Resolution and The Discovery, under the command of the famed Captain James Cook, anchored off West Foreland, near the Dena’ina Villages of Qezdeghnen (Kustatan) and Tubughnenq’ (Tyonek).

“Tebughna,” which translates as “the Beach People,” is the name for the people from Tyonek.  They lived a subsistence lifestyle (and many still do), relying on the rich natural resources of the Cook Inlet. Hunting, trapping, fishing, and whaling have always sustained the people of Tyonek.

From the Gold Rush of the 1880s through today’s continued development of mineral and carbon offset resources in the region, Tyonek has used land management and trade revenues to build housing, a school, and community infrastructure for its people. The Tyonek Native Corporation, founded in 1973, continues to grow in support of Alaska development and U.S. Government contracting services to provide job opportunities, education, health services, and quality of life funding for all Tyonek shareholders living in Alaska and throughout the lower 48.

 

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