Point Hope is located near the end of a triangular spit, which juts 15 miles into the Chukchi Sea 248 miles southwest of Barrow. This peninsula is one of the longest continually inhabited areas in North America. Some of the earliest residents came to the peninsula for bowhead whaling some 2,000 years ago after crossing the Siberian land bridge.

Visitors to the area can see the remains of Old Tigara Village, a prehistoric site with the remains of sod houses.  There is an even earlier site with about 800 house pits known as Ipiutak, occupied from about 500 BC to 100 AD. Ipiutak and the surrounding archaeological district are on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to the prehistoric village sites, there are old burial grounds in the area including a cemetery marked by large whale bones standing on end.

Point Hope was incorporated in 1966 and six years later became a second-class city. Erosion and a threat of storm flooding from the Chukchi Sea led to its relocation to higher ground in the mid-1970s.

Population and Economy

Point Hope is the second largest city on the North Slope with a population of 711 in 2015 and a labor force of 298 workers as of 2014, According to the State's Employment Statistics. Iñupiat make up eighty-nine percent of Point Hope’s population. The local economy is largely based on subsistence hunting, fishing and whaling. The public sector employed fifty seven percent of the workforce in 2014. Residents produce a wide array of arts and crafts for sale including carved ivory, baleen baskets, whale bone, masks, caribou skin masks, etched baleen, Iñupiaq parkas, ivory-tipped harpoons and bird spears.

Quality of Life

The North Slope Borough provides public electricity and maintains a water treatment facility and a sewage pumping facility. The Borough also provides trash pick-up free of charge. A health clinic, staffed by community health aides, is open each day and is available at all hours for emergencies. Other public facilities include the city hall, public safety building, fire station, and a senior citizen center.

Tikigaq School provides education from pre-school to grade 12 and offers adult basic education classes. Communications in town include phones, mail, public radio, and cable TV.

Tikigaq Corporation, Point Hope’s village corporation, runs the Native store and sells groceries, clothing, first-aid supplies, hardware, camera film and sporting goods. City law prohibits the sale or possession of alcohol. Fuel in town includes marine gas, diesel, propane, unleaded, regular and supreme.
As in most other villages, the community comes together to celebrate the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and unites for Nalukataq, the feast at the end of a successful whaling season. Other activities include boating, wildlife- and whale-watching, and bingo. Churches in the community include an Episcopal Church, Assembly of God, and Church of Christ.

Point Hope is served by scheduled and chartered flights from Barrow and Kotzebue.
 

For more information contact:

City of Point Hope Tikigaq Corporation Native Village of Point Hope
P.O. Box 169 P.O. Box 9 P.O. Box 109
Point Hope, AK 99766 Point Hope, AK 99766 Point Hope, AK 99766
PH: (907) 368-2537 PH: (907) 368-2235 PH: (907) 368-2330
Fax: (907) 368-2835 Fax: (907) 368-2668 Fax: (907) 368-2668