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Browse Locations Alakanuk





Current Population:              683   (2011 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)

Incorporation Type:              2nd Class City

Located In:                           Wade Hampton Census Area

Taxes:                                   Sales: 4%, Property: None, Special: None




Location and Climate

Alakanuk is located at the east entrance of Alakanuk Pass, the major southern channel of the Yukon River, 15 miles from the Bering Sea. It is part of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. It lies 8 miles southwest of Emmonak, approximately 162 air miles northwest of Bethel. It is the longest village on the lower Yukon - the development stretches over a 3 mile area along the pass. Approximately 25 homes along the bank are being threatened by erosion. The community lies at approximately 62.688890° North Latitude and -164.615280° West Longitude.  (Sec. 14, T030N, R082W, Seward Meridian.)   Alakanuk is located in the Bethel Recording District.  The area encompasses 32.4 sq. miles of land and 8.7 sq. miles of water.

The climate of Alakanuk is subarctic, averaging 60 inches of snowfall and 19 inches of total precipitation per year. Temperatures range from -25 to 79 °F. Heavy winds are frequent during the fall and winter. The Yukon River is used as an ice road during freeze-up, from November through May.


History, Culture and Demographics

Alakanuk is a Yup'ik word meaning "wrong way," aptly applied to a village on this maze of watercourses. The village was first reported by G.R. Putnam of the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey in 1899. It was originally settled by a Yup'ik shaman named Anguksuar and his family. A Catholic mission school was built near the village. A post office was established in 1946. In 1948, the school was relocated to St. Mary's, and many families moved from the old school site to Alakanuk. It incorporated as a second-class city in 1969.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Village of Alakanuk. Alakanuk is a Yup'ik Eskimo village active in commercial fishing and subsistence. The sale, importation, and possession of alcohol is banned in the village.

According to Census 2010, there were 186 housing units in the community and 160 were occupied. Its population was 95 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 2.1 percent white; 0.4 percent Asian; 2.5 percent of the local residents had multi-racial backgrounds.


Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care

The city operates the water and piped sewer system and the central watering point. Approximately 90% of homes are connected. There is a sewage lagoon available for individuals to dump their honeybuckets. The city council is the policy-making body for the utility. Water is derived from the Alakanuk Slough and is treated, stored in a tank, and piped to most of the community. The landfill is active. Electricity is provided by AVEC. There is one school located in the community,  attended by 229 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include Alakanuk Clinic.  Alakanuk Health Clinic is a Primary Health Care facility with coastal and air access.



Alakanuk experiences a seasonal economy. In 2010, 70 residents held commercial fishing permits. Many have gill net permits, and set net fishermen sell their salmon to Seattle fish buyers. Government employment and retail businesses provide limited year-round employment. Salmon, beluga whale, seal, moose, and rabbit provide food sources. Some residents trap. Many residents travel to Emmonak to shop and attend social events and basketball tournaments.

The 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) estimated 1351 residents as employed. The public sector employed 28.9%1 of all workers. The local unemployment rate was 32.8%1. The percentage of workers not in labor force was 39.5%1. The ACS surveys established that average median household income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $34,375 (MOE +/-$7,322)1. The per capita income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $14,929 (MOE +/-$2,252)1. About 21.5%1 of all residents had incomes below the poverty level. 




A state-owned and -managed 2,200' long by 55' wide gravel airstrip is available. Alakanuk is easily accessible from the Yukon River and Bering Sea by barge and riverboat. Most passengers and mail arrive by air. There are no roads connecting Alakanuk with other population centers in the region, but ice roads are used in winter. Snowmachines and boats are used for local travel.

Organizations with Local Offices

City - City of Alakanuk
P.O. Box 167
Alakanuk, AK 99554
Phone 907-238-3313 or 238-3316
Fax 907-238-3620

Electric Utility - Alaska Village Electric Cooperative
4831 Eagle St.
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone 907-561-1818
Fax 907-562-4086

Tribe - federally recognized - Village of Alakanuk
P.O. Box 149
Alakanuk, AK 99554-0149
Phone 907-238-3419
Fax 907-238-3429

Village Corporation - Alakanuk Native Corporation
P.O. Box 148
Alakanuk, AK 99554
Phone 907-238-3117
Fax 907-238-3120



Regional Organizations

School District - Lower Kuskokwim School District
P.O. Box 305
Bethel, AK 99559-0305
Phone 907-543-4810
Fax 907-543-4904

Regional Native Corporation - Calista Corporation
301 Calista Court # A
Anchorage, AK 99518-3000
Phone 907-279-5516
Fax 907-272-5060

Regional Native Health Corporation - Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
P.O. Box 528
Bethel, AK 99559
Phone 907-543-6020
Fax 907-543-6006

Regional Native Non-Profit - Association of Village Council Presidents
P.O. Box 219
Bethel, AK 99559
Phone 907-543-3521
Fax 907-543-3596

Native Housing Authority - AVCP Regional Housing Authority
P.O. Box 767
Bethel, AK 99559
Phone 907-543-3121
Fax 907-543-3933

Economic Development - CDQ Group - Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association
301 Calista Court, Suite C
Anchorage, AK 99518
Phone 907-644-0326
Fax 907-644-0327


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