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Newspaper Tundra Times (Fairbanks, Alaska) 1962-1997

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About Tundra Times (Fairbanks, Alaska) 1962-1997

The Tundra times was started in Fairbanks on October 1, 1962 by Howard Rock, an Iñupiat Alaska Native from Point Hope. Rock was assisted by Tom Snapp, a journalist who had worked for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and helped to teach Rock about the newspaper trade. The times was created to air and reflect the views and policies of Alaska Native people, and to keep them informed on matters of interest to them. Snapp was able to secure early funding for the times when he reached out to Henry Forbes, president of the American Association of Indian Affairs. Forbes agreed to guarantee $35,000 for the paper’s first year and supported it for years after. The Eskimo, Indian, Aleut Publishing Co. was formed in 1965 and shares were sold to help raise funds for the Tundra times. Rock served as editor of the times until his death in 1976.

The creation of the Tundra times was precipitated by a proposed plan by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to create a harbor near Point Hope, Alaska, by detonating nuclear bombs deep underground. The plan, called Project Chariot, brought Iñupiat people together in opposition. Rock helped to draft letters to government officials and distribute the recordings of meetings with the AEC to other Iñupiat villages. This episode highlighted the importance of having an organized voice for Alaska Native people, and the Tundra times made Alaska Native issues and concerns impossible for politicians to ignore. This point was underscored in the third issue, when the times asked candidates for governor about their views on issues affecting Alaska Natives and printed their responses.

One of Rock’s most popular columns was called Arctic Survival, which relayed information about Alaska Native methods and strategies for survival. Much of the content in the Tundra times was submitted by its readers from villages around Alaska. The masthead of the times featured a drawing done by Rock himself that had dog sleds, moose, caribou, and several homes. The masthead also included phrases in Athabaskan and Iñupiaq, and later added phrases in Aleut, and Tlingit, too, to represent a broader range of Alaska Native cultures.

After Rock’s death, Tom Richards, Jr., became publisher and in 1978 moved the paper to Anchorage to be closer to the Alaska Native Federation and several Alaska Native corporation offices. Some of the corporations began providing financial assistance to the times. With a secure financial footing and a new location, the circulation nearly doubled in a year from 3,400 to 6,000. At this time, the paper was a weekly that had special full-color editions every 2 months, which generated much more revenue. The estimated reach of the paper at the time was 42,000 people in 200 villages. It also sold internationally and around the country, as it was considered a good barometer of the issues affecting Alaska Native people and their views. In 1997, the Alaska Native corporations withdrew support and the paper soon folded.

Provided By: Alaska State Library Historical Collections

About this Newspaper


  • Tundra Times (Fairbanks, Alaska) 1962-1997

Dates of Publication

  • 1962-1997

Created / Published

  • Fairbanks, Alaska : Tundra Times Inc., 1962-1997.


  • -  Indians of North America--Alaska--Newspapers
  • -  Athapascan Indians--Newspapers
  • -  Aleuts--Newspapers
  • -  Eskimos--Newspapers
  • -  Anchorage (Alaska)--Newspapers
  • -  Fairbanks (Alaska)--Newspapers
  • -  Aleuts
  • -  Athapascan Indians
  • -  Eskimos
  • -  Indians of North America
  • -  Alaska
  • -  Alaska--Anchorage
  • -  Alaska--Fairbanks
  • -  United States--Alaska--Anchorage--Anchorage
  • -  United States--Alaska--Fairbanks


  • Newspapers
  • Native American newspapers


  • -  Biweekly, May 5, 1993-May 14, 1997
  • -  Vol. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 1, 1962)-v. 36, no. 15 (May 14, 1997).
  • -  Published in Anchorage, Alaska, Sept. 6, 1978-May 14, 1997.
  • -  "Will strive to keep informed on matters of interest all natives of Alaska, whether they be Eskimos of the Arctic, the Athabascans of the interior, and [sic] other Indians and Aleuts of the Aleutian Islands."
  • -  "Alaska's Oldest State-Wide Newspaper."
  • -  Masthead ill.: Reindeer and people on dogsleds in wilderness.
  • -  "Founded in 1962 by Howard Rock."
  • -  Danky, J.P. Native American periodicals and newspapers 1828-1982 426-427
  • -  Issue numbering irregular.
  • -  Suspended with Dec. 23, 1991 issue; resumed with Oct. 15, 1992 issue.
  • -  "The Eskimo-Indian All-Alaska Newspaper."
  • -  Includes: Copper River news, - and: North Slope bulletin, - and: Alaska Federation of Natives, Inc. monthly newsletter, Dec. 29, 1978-.
  • -  Available on microfilm from the Library of Congress, Photoduplication Service, and on microfiche from Clearwater Pub. Co.
  • -  Available on microfilm from the Alaska Newspaper Project.
  • -  Available on microfilm from Microfilming Corporation of America (Periodicals by and about the North American Indian).
  • -  Available online to subscribers of Ethnic NewsWatch.


  • volumes : illustrations

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper
  • E78.A3 T86

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn84020664

OCLC Number

  • 2712152

ISSN Number

  • 0049-4801

Additional Metadata Formats


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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Tundra Times Fairbanks, Alaska -1997. (Anchorage, AK), Jan. 1 1962.

APA citation style:

(1962, January 1) Tundra Times Fairbanks, Alaska -1997. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Tundra Times Fairbanks, Alaska -1997. (Anchorage, AK) 1 Jan. 1962. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,