Pollen analysis of a 14,000-yr-old sediment core from Sithylemenkat Lake provides the first Holocene vegetational history for the Kanuti Flats of north-central Alaska. Basal samples contain a curious and unusual combination of tundra and boreal taxa. Pollen assemblages dating from 13,500 to 9000 yr B.P. are more typical of southern Brooks Range sites and indicate the presence of Betula shrub tundra with increased Populus ca. 10,000 to 9000 yr B.P. Picea glauca appeared ca. 9000 yr B.P. and Alnus ca. 8000 yr B.P. P. glauca populations declined between 7800 and 5000 yr B.P. with a subsequent reforestation by P. mariana and P. glauca. This pattern is seen at other sites in northeastern Alaska and suggests that the Holocene history of boreal forest is more complex than thought previously.