If you are an Alaska native, you are

32 times

less likely to have

indoor plumbing

than if you live in the lower 48

Alaska native corporations (ANCs) were created not only to settle land claims, but also to provide an opportunity for Alaska natives to begin “walking in two worlds,” or to maintain their cultural heritage while engaging with the wider world. The program was meant to provide opportunities that could help one of the poorest groups of people in the United States. But Alaska natives are still suffering from high unemployment and extreme poverty. Growing numbers suffer from heart problems, obesity and diabetes. They commit suicide at almost four times the national rate, and one study found that alcohol played a role in two-thirds of those deaths.


Percentage living below the poverty line

The percentage of Alaska natives living below the poverty line is nearly twice the U.S. average.


Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate among Alaska natives is five times the national average.

SOURCE: 2009 report by the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
GRAPHIC: Laura Stanton/TWP
More in this series
Alaska natives shortchanged by program
Alaska natives shortchanged by program
The story of Alaska native corporations is one of good intentions gone awry — and federal authorities looking the other way.
Two worlds: photo gallery
Photo Gallery
A look at some of the Alaska communities represented by native corporations.
Live Q&A
Live Q&A, 11 a.m. Thursday
Reporter Robert O'Harrow Jr. takes your questions and comments.
Alaska native corporations' shareholder benefits
Shareholder benefits
Over the past decade, corporations have started to give back to communities in donations and scholarships.