The indigenous peoples or aboriginal communities of the southwestern, south-central Alaska are collectively known as the Yup'ik and Cup'ik People. We call ourselves Yupiit, “Real People.”
The Akiak Native Community is the name of our tribe. Our federal recognition status is conferred through the doctrine of trust enacted through treaties, acts of Congress, or other federal administrative decisions. Our 'government to government' relationship with the United States is grounded in the United States Constitution. This structure helps to shape our services to protect and enhance our tribal lands, resources and self-government, including economic and social programs which are necessary to raise the standard of living and social well-being of our tribal members.
Native American sovereignty predates the sovereignty of the United States and is an essential expression of our status as a Nation. The Akiak IRA Tribal Council is the self-governing body for tribal members to manage internal affairs in accordance with our principles of democracy, equality, respect and independence. This continued sovereignty allows tribal leadership to honor and perpetuate the traditional ways of life for our tribe. This self-determination exists to maintain a respectful awareness of our cultural heritage, to utilize tribal languages and customs, and to govern in the traditional manner of our peoples.
The ANC is a unicameral government where all the powers are vested in the Tribal Council. It has responsibility for all matters for the welfare of the Tribe, and to negotiate with federal, state and local governments, and with the councils or governments of other tribes. In doing so, we strive to encourage the determination and fortitude of our citizens in order to contribute to and sustain effective government administration, self-sufficiency and cultural pride. We seek to honor our ancestors and promote Yuuyaraq, the traditional/cultural way of being within our community. We advocate for the fulfillment of federal trust responsibilities.
We are committed to promoting tribal self-determination and self-sufficiency by expanding our focus through increased economic development, improved financial capacity, better workforce development, more job creation, and the beneficial use of our tribal lands. Our unique responsibility is to our citizens by providing governmental services and other benefits to our members. And the path to securing this future is through the design of strategies and programs that will enhance our economic security, build prosperity and revitalize our community.
Our organization works under the leadership and guidance of our Council who play an important role in shaping the community and keeping focused on the vision for our people. The Council holds annual meetings to discuss important matters affecting the village, holds elections and adopts resolutions presented by the tribe members. Council officials are elected by the tribal citizens of Akiak.
Revitalize, preserve and begin to make use of our heritage, language and cultural traditions that have guided our people to live together in harmony with each other, their land and their environment to survive in the harshest climate by using and protecting its natural resources for fish and wildlife for food and clothing.
By using our heritage, language and cultural traditions, we will create effective, culturally-based responses to the problems that confront our community today with lasting solutions that will result in a stronger community.