Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated


kkkllCook Inlet Region, Incorporated is one of the 13 Alaska Native regional corporations. The geographic boundary of the Cook Inlet Region, Inc (CIRI) closely approximates the traditional homeland of the Dena’ina Athabascans.

Within the regional boundary are villages and group sites recognized under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. In addition, within the regional boundary is the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest urban center.
Picture of Cooks Inlet, Alaska

Cook Inlet Villages, Groups and Cities

Anchorage is often referred to as the largest Alaska Native village because of the large number of Alaska Native people who live within the municipal boundaries.

The Dena’ina villages of the region are Eklutna, Knik, Tyonek, and Salmatof. The people of Chickaloon are a mixture of Ahtna and Dena’ina Athabascan. The people of Ninilchik and Seldovia have ancestors of Aleut and Altutiiq descent, as well as some Dena’ina.

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act also recognized two other categories of Alaska Native localities, groups, which had smaller populations of Alaska Native people than villages, and the four-named cities, communities with significant Native populations but considered urban. The groups within CIRI’s regional boundaries are Alexander Creek, Caswell, Gold Creek, Montana Creek and Point Possession. Kenai, Alaska, one of the four-named cities under ANCSA, also lies within CIRI’s regional boundary and is the home of many people of Dena’ina heritage.

Many of the Dena’ina of the Cook Inlet region lived near Cook Inlet, a large body of salt water they referred to as Tikahtnu. Consequently, they utilized the marine resources and abundant salmon runs of the region. They also traded these marine resources with more interior groups of Alaska Native peoples, including the Dena’ina of the upper Cook Inlet. The Dena’ina of the upper Cook Inlet depended heavily on mountain resources such as moose, caribou and fur-bearing mammals.

Cook Inlet Village and Group Dena’ina Place names

•Alexander Creek – Tuqen Kaq’
•Caswell – Q’uch’u’itnu
Chickaloon – Nay’dini’aa Na’
•Eklutna – Idlughet
•Gold Creek – Quht’anagga K’etnu K’ilani
•Kenai – Kahtnu
•Knik – K’enakatnu
•Montana Creek – Qiduk’ggat
•Ninilchik – Niqnalchint
•Point Possession – Tuyqun
•Salamatof – Ken Dech’ Etl’t
•Seldovia – Angidahtnu
•Tyonek – Tubghnenq

Native Villages and Native Corporations in the Cook Inlet Region:

Community Name Corporation Name
Alexander Creek Alexander Creek Inc.
Caswell Caswell Native Assoc. Inc.
Chickaloon Chilkaloon Moose Creek Native Assoc.
Eklutna Eklutna Inc.
Golovin Golovin Native Corporation
Kenai Kenai Native Assoc. Inc.
Knik Knikatnu Inc.
Montana Creek Montana Creek Native Assoc.
Ninilchik Ninilchik Natives Assoc., Inc.
Point Possession Point Possession Inc.
Salamatoff Salamatoff Native Assoc. Inc.
Seldovia Seldovia Native Assoc. Inc.
Tyonek Tyonek Native Corporation

Leading Causes of Death in the Cook Inlet Region

In 2013, 2,464 people died in the Cook Inlet Region. The top 5 causes of death were:

1) Malignant Neoplasms (607)
2) Diseases of the Heart (425)
3) Unintentional Injuries (205)
4) Cerebrovascular Diseases (123)
5) Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (122)