Klukwan’s People

The people of Klukwan lived self-sufficient and prosperous lives prior to the arrival of outsiders brought in by the Alaska Gold Rush in the late 1800s. The Chilkats subsisted on foods found in their immediate area and engaged in trade with neighboring and farreaching tribes to the north and the south. The prosperity of the Chilkats continued well after contact as they closely guarded their trade routes into the Interior of Alaska and Canada. Legend tells us that the Chilkats began to lose control of the prosperous trade routes only after the United States Army came armed with Gatling guns. Spears and daggers, the traditional weapons of the Tlingit, were no match for automated weapons.


As of the census of 2000, there were 139 people, 44 households, and 31 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 43.3/km2 (111.9/mi2). There were 85 housing units at an average density of 26.5/km2 (68.4/mi2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 10.07% White, 88.49% Native American, 0.72% Asian, and 0.72% from two or more races. 3.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 44 households out of which 54.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.16 and the average family size was 3.75.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 33.1% under the age of 18, 13.7% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 6.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 104.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 121.4 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $30,714, and the median income for a family was $31,563. Males had a median income of $26,250 versus $26,250 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $11,612. There were none of the families and 1.5% of the population living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and none of those over 64.

Information from Answers.com

The people of Klukwan are gaining a reputation for their generous hospitality and openness to visitors. For the past six years Klukwan has hosted the Putney Student Travel group. The Putney students typically stay in Klukwan for a month in the summer.

The Chilkat River is an important source of sustenance for Klukwan residents

Exterior of Chief Klart-Reech’s House, Chilkat, Alaska c.1895, Alaska State Library, Winter & Pond Photographs, ASL-P87-0009

Interior of Whale House of Chief Klart-Reech, Klukwan, Alaska c.1895, Winter & Pond Photographs, ASL-P87-0013