A review of rheumatic diseases in the southeast coastal Indians of Alaska revealed high frequencies of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Both prevalence and incidence rates of RA were significantly higher and the peak age of incidence was younger in the southeast Alaskan Indian population than in Alaskan Eskimo groups and the United States population in general. The prevalence of SLE in the Alaskan Indian population was about twice that reported for most white populations. The frequency of seronegative spondyloarthropathic disorders was similar in the Alaskan Indian and Eskimo populations. Comparable studies of the prevalence of spondyloarthropathy in general have not been carried out in white populations. The prevalence rate of ankylosing spondylitis, one of the major types of spondyloarthropathy, did not differ significantly in the SE Indians from rates in predominantly white US populations.