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Browse Locations Atka





Current Population:              58   (2011 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)

Incorporation Type:              2nd Class City

Located In:                           Aleutians West Census Area

Taxes:                                   Sales: None, Property: None, Special: 2.0% Raw Fish Tax; 10.0% Bed Tax




Location and Climate

Atka is located on Atka Island, 1,200 air miles southwest from Anchorage and 350 miles west of Unalaska. The community lies at approximately 52.196110° North Latitude and -174.200560° West Longitude.  (Sec. 22, T092S, R176W, Seward Meridian.)   Atka is located in the Aleutian Islands Recording District.  The area encompasses 8.7 sq. miles of land and 27.4 sq. miles of water.

Atka lies in the maritime climate zone. Temperatures range from 20 to 60 °F. Precipitation averages 60 inches per year, and snowfall averages 61 inches per year. There are frequent winds and severe storms in the winter and calm, foggy weather in summer.


History, Culture and Demographics

The island has been occupied by Unangas for at least 2,000 years. Unangas speak the western dialect, known since the Russian era as "Aleut". Recent archaeological evidence indicates that the present village site may have had human use since prehistoric times. The first contact with Russians occurred in 1747, and Atka became an important trade site and safe harbor for Russians. In 1787 a number of hunters were enslaved and relocated to the Pribilofs to work in the fur seal harvest. The townsite was settled in the 1860s. After the end of the sea otter hunting era in the late 1800s, Atka had no viable cash economy. Reindeer were introduced to the island in 1914. During the 1920s, Atka became relatively affluent due to fox farming. After the Japanese attacked Unalaska and seized Attu and Kiska in June 1942, the U.S. Government evacuated Atka residents to the Ketchikan area. Atka was burned to the ground to prevent Japanese forces from using it and advancing. The community was rebuilt by the U.S. Navy after the war, and residents were allowed to return. Many Attu villagers, released from imprisonment in Japan in 1945, relocated to Atka. This exposure to the outside world brought many changes in the traditional culture and attitudes in the community. The city was incorporated in 1988.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Native Village of Atka. A traditional Unanga settlement, exposure to the outside world has brought changes to the traditional lifestyle; however, the Aleut language is still spoken in one-fourth of homes. The St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church is a central part of village life. Sea lions and other sea mammals are an important part of the subsistence lifestyle, and meat is shared village-wide on an informal basis.

According to Census 2010, there were 43 housing units in the community and 24 were occupied. Its population was 95.1 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 4.9 percent white;


Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care

The community system was constructed in 1978 and was expanded in 1982 to a new housing area. Water is supplied by a stream and wooden reservoir dam northwest of the city. It is stored in two 30,000-gallon water tanks before distribution. All 50 homes are connected to the piped water and sewer system and are plumbed. Sewage is piped to a central septic system. Wastewater flows untreated through outfall lines into Nazan Bay. Garbage is collected twice a week. Electricity is provided by City of Atka. There is one school located in the community, attended by 10 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include Atka Village Clinic.  Atka Village Clinic is a Primary Health Care facility. Atka is an isolated location it is part of the Southern EMS Region. Emergency Services have coastal and air access. Emergency service is provided by volunteers.  Auxiliary health care is provided by Atka City Emergency Medical Services (907-839-2214).



The economy is based on subsistence living and wages earned from the halibut fishery. A small local fish processing plant, Atka Pride Seafoods, operates seasonally to serve the local fleet. They currently process halibut and black cod. In 2010, 4 residents held commercial fishing permits. A number of offshore fish processors carry out crew changes through Atka. Year-round income opportunities in the village are limited to education- and government-related work. A reindeer herd of over 2,500 head provides a source of meat.

The 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) estimated 131 residents as employed. The percentage of workers not in labor force was 31.6%1. The ACS surveys established that average median household income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $90,000 (MOE +/-$137,248)1. The per capita income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $27,542 (MOE +/-$19,654)1. About 4.2%1 of all residents had incomes below the poverty level. 




Atka has a state-owned, city-maintained 4,500' by 100' asphalt, lighted runway. Scheduled air services are available three times weekly from Unalaska. Planes can be chartered from Cold Bay or Unalaska. Freight service is provided from April to October. The city dock and port facility is located 5 miles from town in Nazan Bay.

Organizations with Local Offices

City - City of Atka
P.O. Box 47070
Atka, AK 99547
Phone 907-839-2233; Administrator 907-522-0384
Fax 907-839-2234; 907-522-0385

Electric Utility - City of Atka
P.O. Box 47070
Atka, AK 99547
Phone 907-839-2233
Fax 907-839-2234; 907-522-0385

Tribe - federally recognized - Native Village of Atka
P.O. Box 47030
Atka, AK 99547
Phone 907-839-2229
Fax 907-839-2269

Village Corporation - Atxam Corporation
P.O. Box 47001
Atka, AK 99547
Phone 907-839-2237
Fax 907-839-2234



Regional Organizations

School District - Aleutian Region School District
P.O. Box 92230
Anchorage, AK 99509
Phone 907-277-2648
Fax 907-277-2649

Regional Native Health Corporation - Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Incorporated
1131 E. International Airport Rd.
Anchorage, AK 99518
Phone 907-276-2700
Fax 907-279-4351

Native Housing Authority - Aleutian Housing Authority
520 E. 32nd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone 907-563-2146
Fax 907-563-3105

Regional Development - Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference
3300 Arctic Blvd., Suite 203
Anchorage,  99503
Phone 907-562-7380
Fax 907-562-0438


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