This is a Native story of Chief Nicolai of Taral and the people of the ‘Atna’tuuts’itu at the time of the prospecting, development, and operation of the historic Kennecott Copper Company and its Copper River and Northwestern Railway of Alaska in the years 1885 until 1938. Nicolai was born at a Native encampment somewhere near the confluence of Dan Creek and the Chitistone River to the southeast of the Nicolai Prospect. There can be little doubt as to the enormous impact Nicolai had on the history starting with Lt. Henry Allen’s entry into the country in 1885. The clash of cultures continues to this day, largely at the expense of the rural Natives. The Ahtna Indians remain rooted to the land, still observing many of the old traditions, especially that of the potlatch, as well as a more modern form of subsistence which relies heavily on the use of the Columbia River fishwheel. Native families remain firmly rooted to the land. This is the only land they have ever known. Just as Nicolai was so fond of reminding everyone, the Ahtna people were here in the beginning and the Ahtnas will still be here at the very end of humanity itself.