Nuiqsut is located about 18 miles south of the Colville River headwaters at the Beaufort Sea and 136 miles southeast of Barrow. The Colville River Delta has traditionally been a gathering and trading place for the Iñupiat and a good source for hunting and fishing. After 27 Barrow families moved overland to the area, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation funded construction of the village in 1974. The new residents lived in a tent city for 18 months before permanent housing could be built. Nuiqsut was incorporated as a second class city in 1975.
Population and Economy
In 2015, there were 446 residents in Nuiqsut and a labor force of 205 in 2014, according to the States employment statistics. Approximately 87 percent of residents are Iñupiat. Like all North Slope villages, Nuiqsut’s economy is based primarily on subsistence hunting, fishing, and whaling. Nearby subsistence species include bowhead whales, caribou, seals, moose and waterfowl; fish include whitefish, burbot, arctic char and grayling.
The public sector employed 54 percent of the workers in Nuiqsut, and other employment opportunities are with the Kuukpik village corporation and the construction industry.
Some residents sell local arts and crafts, including skin masks and boats, fur mittens, parkas and carved ivory.
Quality of Life
The borough provides public electricity and water/wastewater services. Free trash pick-up is also provided by the borough.
Trapper School holds classes from pre-school to grade 12 and offers adult basic education. A health clinic, staffed by community health aides, is open each day and is available 24 hours a day for emergencies. Nuiqsut has a public safety building and fire station equipped with fire engines and an ambulance. Communications include phones, mail, public radio and cable TV.
Supplies available in town include groceries, clothing, first-aid supplies, hardware, camera film and sporting goods. Available fuel includes marine gas, diesel, propane, white gas kerosene and regular gasoline. The City of Nuiqsut bans the possession, sale and importation of alcoholic beverages.
Residents and visitors enjoy such activities as snowmobile rides, bingo and activities at the Kisik Community Center. Traditional dances are performed on the Fourth of July and at other celebrations. The community is served by a Presbyterian Church. Nuiqsut also has a softball field.
Nuiqsut is served by scheduled and chartered flights from Barrow. Freight arrives year-round by air cargo.
Nuiqsut residents have access to the Dalton Highway four months of the year. It is the northernmost town with road access.
For more information contact:
|City of Nuiqsut||Kuukpik Corporation||Native Village of Nuiqsut|
|P.O. Box 148||P.O. Box 187||P.O. Box 169|
|Nuiqsut, AK 99789||Nuiqsut, AK 99789||Nuiqsut, AK 99789|
|(907) 480-6727||(907) 480-6220||(907) 480-3010|