Ahtna, Inc. shareholders are mainly comprised of the Ahtna Athabascan people of the Copper River and Cantwell regions of southcentral Alaska. The Ahtna people take their name from the indigenous word for the Copper River, which flows through Ahtna land.
The language of the Ahtna people, which is also referred to by the same name, belongs to the Na-Dene language family that includes the Tlingit, Eyak, and Athabascan languages of North America. The four distinct dialects of the Ahtna language are still spoken today, and there are strong efforts to increase its use amongst current and new generations of shareholders to keep the language from going extinct.
Historically, the Ahtna people were semi-nomadic and extensive travelers, continually following their food source and moving from place to place according to the seasons. Although most Ahtna are no longer nomadic, the traditions and ways of life of the past, especially the practice of a subsistence lifestyle, continue to this day.
Today, Ahtna, Inc. supports and represents over 1,800 shareholders, many of whom still reside in the Copper River region, with a mission to preserve, strengthen, and enhance a cultural identity that has existed for thousands of years.
To fulfill this mission, Ahtna, Inc. provides a number of economic, cultural, and social benefits targeted specifically at our shareholders. This section of the website deals with these benefits, programs, and services.