Alan Boraas

Department of Anthropology

(907) 262-0360


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, Oregon State University, 1983


Alan Boraas received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota (B.A. 1969) and graduate degrees from the University of Toronto (M.A. 1971) and Oregon State University (Ph.D. 1983_. Professor Boraas has worked in Minnesota and Ontario, but his diverse anthropological interests have primarily dealt with the Cook Inlet Basin.

Professor Boraas has conducted archaeological excavations at historic Russian sites, Late Prehistoric Dena'ina sites, and both Riverine and Marine Kachemak sites. His recent archaeological work has been on Riverine Kachemak sites on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. Professor Boraas co-edited with James Kari, "A Dena'ina Legacy: The Collected Writings of Peter Kalifornsky" which was recognized by the Before Columbus Foundation as the Book of the Year for 1993. He has collaborated with Dena'ina scholars in several projects relating to traditional Dena'ina religion, including "The True Believe Among the Kenai Peninsula Dena'ina" with Donita Peter, and "Dena'ina Fire and Water Transformations" with Peter Kalifornsky. He is currently undertaking an analysis of the affect of commercial canneries of Dena'ina culture ca. 1900, and an ethnohistoric analysis of the Battle of Kenai, 1797. Professor Boraas has team-taught Dena'ina language classes with Peter Kalifornsky and Donita Peter and current teaches reading and writing the Dena'ina language. He has given professional lectures on such diverse topics as Kenai River fishing history, Kenaitze tribal revitalization, and probed the concept of a sense of place from an anthropological perspective. Professor Boraas has written over 150 newspaper articles and commentaries on topics related to Alaskan anthropology and natural history.

Professor Boraas has served as Chair of the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Board of Directors of the Pratt Museum, as NAGPRA advisor to the Kenaitze Indian Tribe and is currently on the board of the Alaska Anthropological Association in addition to numerous other professional service positions. He has maintained close ties to the Kenaitze Indian Tribe for almost 30 years, and in 2000 the tribal council voted to grant him honorary tribal membership.

Professor Boraas teaches at the Kenai Peninsula College branch of UAA, located in the city of Kenai, Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, south of Anchorage.

Research Interests

  • Archaeology
  • Ethnohistory
  • Mythology
  • Language and culture 
  • South Coast Alaska.