A Eskimo was sentenced to life in prison Monday for murdering two California tourists with a shotgun as they slept in their tent on the beach near here last August.

The murder of Gregory J. Underwood of San Francisco and Donna L. Hendershot of San Rafael was blamed by some anti- white racism in this Eskimo community of 2,000 the northernmost settlement in the United States.

Mayor Eben Hopson angrily denied that racism played any part in the violence. He blamed liquor, and the community's liquor store was closed by a vote of the Borough Assembly.

During Thomas Sovalik's trial, a Barrow police offi- and that he had killed the two Californians because he wanted their flashlight.

Minutes after sentencing Sovalik, Superior Court Judge Gerald Van Hoomesster sentenced Sovalik's sister, Eilen, to five years in prison for manslaughter in an unrelated case - the death of her son. The sentence was suspended.

Sovalik's sister was charged with first-degree murder after her son, Dick, was found dead of exposure on the beach at Barrow on Sept. 22.

Police said the scantily clad tot had been left out the night before in near-freezing temperatures. The woman subsequently pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of manslaughter.