The Alaska Native Place Names Project addresses the need for an authoritative, statewide resource documenting traditional knowledge of Indigenous place names across all of Alaska’s Native languages.

“People used to name these things as they see them.”
Chief Peter John



  • Create a comprehensive record of the indigenous place names of Alaska, across all of Alaska’s Native languages. To achieve that end the project is building a multilingual geo-database which both:
    • preserves existing documentation; and
    • synthesizes a new documentary record based on input from Native language experts.
  • Explore the connections between Indigenous place naming, environmental knowledge, and ecosystem services.
  • Promote continued use and appreciation of Indigenous names.


Photo credit: Tr’edhdode, a landmark situated in the pass between the Dradlaya Nik’a (Chatanika River) and Tsogho Nik’a (Beaver Creek) drainages. Photograph courtesy Chris Cannon, 2016.