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Browse Locations Alatna




Current Population:     37   (2011 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)

Incorporation Type:     Unincorporated

Located In:                   Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

Taxes:                          No taxing authority




Location and Climate

Alatna is on the north bank of the Koyukuk river, southwest of its junction with the Alatna River, approximately 190 air miles northwest of Fairbanks and 57 miles upriver from Hughes. Alatna lies just west of the municipal boundaries of the City of Allakaket. The community lies at approximately 66.566920° North Latitude and -152.666390° West Longitude.  (Sec. 33, T021N, R024W, Fairbanks Meridian.)   Alatna is located in the Fairbanks Recording District.

The area experiences a cold, continental climate with extreme temperature differences. The average high temperature during July is 70 °F. The average low during January is well below zero, and extended periods of -40 °F are common. The highest temperature ever recorded was 94 °F and the lowest temperature ever recorded was -75 °F. Average annual precipitation is 13 inches, and average annual snowfall is 72 inches. The Koyukuk River is ice-free from June through October.


History, Culture and Demographics

Several Native groups have lived in the area, including Koyukon Athabascans and Kobuk, Selawik, and Nunamiut Eskimos from the north and northwest. The Koyukon lived in several camps throughout the year, moving as the seasons changed, following the wild game and fish. The various bands established joint settlements after 1851. The old site of Alatna was a traditional trading center for Athabascans and Eskimos. The first mission on the Koyukuk River, St. John's-in-the-Wilderness Episcopal Mission, was established in 1906. A post office was opened in 1925. In 1938, the name of the community was changed to Allakaket (the old name for the mission), and the name Alatna was assumed by the small Eskimo community across the river. The first public school was established in 1957. A flood caused by ice jamming inundated 85% of the community in the spring of 1964. In 1975, the community incorporated as a city, including both settlements of Allakaket and Alatna. A clinic and airport were built in 1978. A new school and community roads were built in 1979. In September 1994, flood waters destroyed and swept away nearly all of the community's buildings, homes, and food caches for the winter. Residents have rebuilt near the old city site, but Alatna is no longer within the incorporated city boundaries.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Alatna Village. The Alatna population consists largely of descendants of Kobuk Eskimos; Athabascans predominantly live in Allakaket. Subsistence activities are prevalent.

According to Census 2010, there were 19 housing units in the community and 12 were occupied. Its population was 97.3 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 2.7 percent white;


Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care

Alatna residents haul water and use honey buckets or outhouses. None of the occupied homes have plumbing. There is an electrical intertie with Allakaket. Residents use the Allakaket clinic, washeteria, landfill, and school. Electricity is provided by Alaska Power Company. There are schools located in the community,  Local hospitals or health clinics include Alatna Clinic.  Alatna Clinic is a Primary Health Care facility.



The economy is seasonal and subsistence-based. Salmon, whitefish, moose, bear, small game, and berries provide most food sources. Caribou are taken when available. A few earn income from trapping or traditional Native handicrafts. Construction and BLM emergency firefighting also provide summer jobs.

The 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) estimated 41 residents as employed. The local unemployment rate was 42.9%1. The per capita income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $7,880 (MOE +/-$3,162)1




Alatna has no road link, but winter trails connect it with Hughes, Bettles, and Tanana. River transportation is important during the summer. A state-owned 3,500' lighted runway is accessible year-round in Allakaket. There is no barge service due to shallow water.

Organizations with Local Offices

Electric Utility - Alaska Power Company
P.O. Box 3222
Port Townsend, WA 98368
Phone 800-982-0136
Fax 360-385-5177

Tribe - federally recognized - Alatna Village
P.O. Box 70
Alatna, AK 99720
Phone 907-968-2261
Fax 907-968-2305


Regional Organizations

School District - Yukon-Koyukuk School District
4762 Old Airport Way
Fairbanks, AK 99709-4456
Phone 907-374-9400
Fax 907-374-9440

Regional Native Corporation - Doyon, Limited
1 Doyon Place, Suite 300
Fairbanks, AK 99701-2941
Phone 907-459-2000
Fax 907-459-2060

Regional Native Health Corporation - Tanana Chiefs Conference
122 First Ave, Suite 600
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Phone 907-452-8251
Fax 907-459-3851

Native Housing Authority - Alatna Village
P.O. Box 70
Alatna, AK 99720
Phone 907-968-2261
Fax 907-968-2305



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