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Location of Alaska

Alaska (/əˈlæskə/ (About this soundlisten); Aleut: Alax̂sxax̂; Inupiaq: Alaasikaq; Pacific Gulf Yupik: Alas'kaaq; Tlingit: Anáaski; Russian: Аля́ска, romanizedAlyáska) is a U.S. state on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. An exclave of the U.S., it borders the Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon to the east and southeast and has a maritime border with Russia's Chukotka Autonomous Okrug to the west. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas of the Arctic Ocean, while the Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest.

Alaska is the largest U.S. state by area and the seventh-largest subnational division in the world. It is the third-least populous and the most sparsely populated state, but by far the continent's most populous territory located mostly north of the 60th parallel, with an estimated population of 738,432 as of 2015—more than quadruple the combined populations of Northern Canada and Greenland. Approximately half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. The state capital of Juneau is the second-largest city in the United States by area, comprising more territory than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware.

Alaska was occupied by various indigenous peoples for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. The state is considered the entry point for the settlement of North America by way of the Bering land bridge. The Russians were the first Europeans to settle the area beginning in the 18th century, eventually establishing Russian America, which spanned most of the current state. The expense and difficulty of maintaining this distant possession prompted its sale to the U.S. in 1867 for US$7.2 million, or approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km2). The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912. It was admitted as the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.

While it has one of the smallest state economies in the country, Alaska's per capita income is among the highest, owing to a diversified economy dominated by fishing, natural gas, and oil, all of which it has in abundance. United States armed forces bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy; more than half the state is federally owned public land, including a multitude of national forests, parks, and wildlife refuges.

Alaska's indigenous population is proportionally the highest of any U.S. state, at over 15 percent. Close to two dozen native languages are spoken, and Alaskan Natives exercise considerable influence in local and state politics. Read more...

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Eskimo (also known as Mala the Magnificent and Eskimo Wife-Traders) is a 1933 American Pre-Code drama film directed by W. S. Van Dyke and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). It is based on the books Der Eskimo and Die Flucht ins weisse Land by Danish explorer and author Peter Freuchen. The film stars Ray Mala as Mala, Lulu Wong Wing as Mala's first wife Aba, Lotus Long as Mala's second wife Iva, Peter Freuchen as the Ship Captain, W. S. Van Dyke as Inspector White, and Joseph Sauers as Sergeant Hunt.

Eskimo was the first feature film to be shot in a Native American language (Inupiat), although the AFI Catalog of Feature Films lists several earlier features shot in Alaska beginning in the later teens with The Barrier (1917 film), The Girl Alaska (1919), Back to God's Country (1919 film), and Heart of Alaska (1924). Eskimo documented many of the hunting and cultural practices of Native Alaskans. The production for the film was based at Teller, Alaska, where housing, storage facilities, a film laboratory, and other structures were built to house the cast, crew, and equipment.

Eskimo was nicknamed "Camp Hollywood" with a crew that included 42 cameramen and technicians, six airplane pilots, and Emil Ottinger — a chef from the Roosevelt Hotel. Numerous locations were used for filming, including Cape Lisburne in March 1933, Point Hope and Cape Serdtse-Kamen in April to July, and Herald Island in the Chukchi Sea in July. The film crew encountered difficulties recording native speech due to the "kh" sound of the native language. Altogether, pre-production, principal photography, and post-production took 17 months. Read more...
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Legal education in Alaska refers to the history of efforts to educate Alaskans in the laws of the state, including the education of those representing themselves before the courts, paralegals and the continuing legal education of Alaskan lawyers after their admission to the Alaska Bar Association. Since becoming the 49th state of the United States on January 3, 1959 Alaska has not had a public, American Bar Association-accredited law school. A 1975 study by former Alaska Attorney General (1970–1973) John E. Havelock concluded that the state did not require a law school. Without a state law school, Alaska did not receive a 2001 distribution of the complete legal papers of Abraham Lincoln and the Alaska Law Review has been published outside Alaska.

As of 2018 Alaska was the only state without a law school, but the Seattle University School of Law ran a satellite campus at Alaska Pacific University, where law students from any ABA accredited school can study Alaska-specific courses during summers or for part or all of their third (and final) year of law school. Read more...
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Nalukataq Blanket Toss Barrow.jpg

Blanket toss during Nalukataq in Barrow, Alaska

Photo credit: Floyd Davidson

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State facts

  • Total area: 663,268 mi2
    • Land: 571,936 mi2
    • Water: 91,332 mi2
  • Highest elevation: 20,310 ft (Denali)
  • Population 741,894 (2016 est)
  • Admission to the Union: January 3, 1959 (49th)

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