The distinction between engaged/applied anthropology and traditional anthropology has not been rigid in Alaska since the early 1970s. Why? And how has this engagement occurred for four decades at the University of Alaska Anchorage? This paper describes the socio-political realities of Alaska and how faculty and students responded in their engaged research, teaching, and service. Cultural and linguistic anthropologists engaged with a variety of Alaskan communities, primarily Alaska Native, sometimes working with federal, state, and private agencies serving northern populations, which now includes over 90 ethnic groups from around the world.