Suicide rates in Alaska Native elders are studied to further explore cultural factors in elderly suicide. Data for the 1960s and 1970s are reviewed, and new data on Alaska Native suicide rates are presented for the 10-year period of 1985 through 1994. In many areas throughout the world, suicide rates are the highest for the elderly. During the Alaska "oil boom," suicide rates more than tripled for the general population but decreased to zero for Alaska Native elders. Cultural teachings from the society's elders were more important during this time of culture upheaval. During the study period, the cultural changes dissipated, and suicide rates for Alaska Native elders, although lower than those of White Alaskans, increased. This provides further evidence that suicide rates for elders can be influenced by social factors--both to raise to lower rates.