From about 100 miles west of Fairbanks to about 300 miles west and southwest of Fairbanks lie eight Athabascan Villages with Catholic Churches. Three of villages have consistently held government and military organizations over the years. They have received attention from many different churches. Two of the places have been strong centers for the Episcopal Diocese of Alaska. Three of the villages have been traditional Catholic villages. Galena, McGrath, and Ruby have been centers for mining, military, or government agencies. The Catholic populations have been a minority. Tanana and Huslia have been strong centers for Episcopal parishes.
The Catholic Populations consist of people who have married into or moved into the villages. They are a minority. Nulato was the first Catholic mission in Alaska and is joined to Kaltag and Koyukuk as traditional Catholic Villages. Over the years they have had the presence of priests, brothers, and especially sisters.
Today a Franciscan Priest, two Franciscan Brothers, and visiting priests serve the eight villages. Tanana, McGrath, and Koyukuk have lay administrators keeping the life of the parishes going. Galena, Kaltag, Nulato, and Ruby see a priest once of month. Tanana, Huslia, and McGrath see a priest once every 3 months. The life of each parish depends on the active participation of the people in the parish.