The village of Tatitlek (population 119 in 1990) is located in northeastern Prince William Sound. Like many Alutiiq villages, its location has been moved several times. Beginning in the 19th century, its residents began trading furs for European goods. First, hunters traded sea otter pelts with the Russians at Nuchek and, by the 1890's, with American traders at the Alaska Commercial Company store at Tatitlek. Many new people came to the region in the early 1900's as prospectors passed through the village on their way to mines on the Copper River. A copper mine opened at nearby Ellamar in 1898, and a cannery at Ellamar (1940 to 1954) provided jobs for people from Tatitlek.
Today, many Tatitlek families participate in commercial fishing for salmon and halibut. All through the year they also hunt, fish, and gather plants and beach foods for their own use. Seals, salmon, and herring are some of the most important wild foods.
In 1989 an oil tanker, the Exxon Valdez, ran aground not far from Tatitlek and spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into the waters of Prince William Sound. Even though currents carried the oil away from the village, the harvest of subsistence species decreased that year by 89%.