Alaska Native People


Real people are in all those unnamed photos mething that has always made me uncomfortable as an editor is using photos of people without naming them. Historical photos of Alaska Natives are notoriously nameless; the caption typically reads along the lines of “Native man in a boat,” or “Tlingit shaman in full costume.” So I’m particularly excited to share this issue in which nearly all of the images of individuals include names of Alaskans living (or who did live) authentic, complex lives. I attribute it to astute historical and contemporary photographers who either knew their subjects well or took the time and effort to record details. That’s not to say that unnamed pictures are products of lazy artists—anyone who’s photographed an event or even a family portrait in a public space knows it’s practically impossible to gather the names of everyone on stage for a performance or to run after…