Alsaka was purchased by the US from Russia in 1867 and admitted to the US Union as the 49th state in 1959. It occupies the northwestern part of North America, and is the largest state in the USA. Due to the abundance of natural resources in fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas, this state has the potential to become one of the richest in the Union.
Much of Alaska is tundra and mountains with glaciers and snow-capped mountains, including Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. The southern and south-eastern coasts are washed by the warm Japanese current, which brings a mild, temperate climate to the region.
Alaska was first explored in 1741 by Vitus Bering, a Dane in Russian service. He was followed a few years later by renowned explorers like James Cook, George Vancouver and Alexander Mckenzie.
It was sparsely populated until 1880 when gold was discovered near Juneau. Subsequent discoveries of gold in the Canadian territory of Yukon, Nome and Fairbanks, increased the influx of settlers.
Today, Alaska has a population of 280,000. Of this number 55,000 are Eskimos and American Indians. The Eskimos live in the coastal areas of the northwest while retaining some of their ancient customs. But, as elsewhere in the world, their lives have become more westernised.
Alsaka hopes to change its image from an "icy, snowy" region to that of a modern state. She intends to do this through her unique pieces at Expo'70, which she is sharing part of the American Park pavilion. This includes the tallest Indian totem pole in the world, belonging to the village of Kake in Alaska.