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Browse Locations Atqasuk



(AT-kuh-suck); alt. Atkasook


Current Population:              244   (2011 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)

Incorporation Type:              2nd Class City

Located In:                           North Slope Borough

Taxes:                                   Sales: None, Property: 18.5 mills (borough), Special: None




Location and Climate

Atqasuk is located on the Meade River, 60 miles south of Barrow. The community lies at approximately 70.469440° North Latitude and -157.395830° West Longitude.  (Sec. 19, T013N, R021W, Umiat Meridian.)   Atqasuk is located in the Barrow Recording District.  The area encompasses 38.9 sq. miles of land and 3.5 sq. miles of water.

The climate is arctic. The daily minimum temperature drops below freezing 300 days a year. Temperature extremes range from a low of -56 to a high of 78 °F. Precipitation is light, at 5 inches per year. Snowfall averages 22 inches per year.


History, Culture and Demographics

The area has traditionally been hunted and fished by Inupiat Eskimos. The name means "the place to dig the rock that burns." During World War II, bituminous coal was mined in Atqasuk and freighted to Barrow for use by government and private facilities. The village had a post office from 1951 to 1957 under the name Meade River. There were no people in Atqasuk in 1970, but the community was re-established around 1977, primarily by former residents of Barrow. The city was incorporated in 1982.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Atqasuk Village. It is a traditional Inupiat Eskimo village. Subsistence activities are important to the lifestyle. The sale, importation, and possession of alcohol is banned in the village.

According to Census 2010, there were 68 housing units in the community and 64 were occupied. Its population was 92.3 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 6.9 percent white; 0.9 percent of the local residents had multi-racial backgrounds.


Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care

The North Slope Borough provides the water, sewer, refuse, washeteria, landfill, and other public services. Water is obtained from Imakruak Lake, treated, and available at a watering point. Delivery to household water tanks is available. Most homes have tanks that provide running water for the kitchen. The majority of homes, facilities and the school has running water and flush system. Electricity is provided by North Slope Borough. There is one school located in the community, attended by 77 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include Atqasuk Clinic.  Atqasuk Health Clinic is a Primary health care facility. Atqasuk is an isolated location it is part of the North Slope EMS Region. Emergency Services have river and air access. Emergency service is provided by 911 Telephone Service volunteers and a health aide.  Auxiliary health care is provided by Atqasuk Volunteer Fire Dept. (907-633-6814).



Education and other government services provide the majority of full-time employment in Atqasuk. Subsistence activities provide food sources. Grayling, white fish, caribou, geese, ptarmigan, polar bear, seal, walrus, and whale are harvested and traded. Residents trap and sell furs to supplement cash income. In 2010, one resident held a commercial fishing permit.

The 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) estimated 1181 residents as employed. The public sector employed 20.3%1 of all workers. The local unemployment rate was 25.3%1. The percentage of workers not in labor force was 41.9%1. The ACS surveys established that average median household income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $66,042 (MOE +/-$24,886)1. The per capita income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $19,947 (MOE +/-$3,682)1. About 10.8%1 of all residents had incomes below the poverty level. 




Air travel provides the only year-round access, while land transportation provides seasonal access. The North Slope Borough owns and operates the Edward Burnell Sr. Memorial Airport, which has a 4,370' long by 90' wide gravel runway. "Cat-trains" are sometimes used to transport freight overland from Barrow during winter months. Snowmachines, ATVs, and boats are used for local transportation.

Organizations with Local Offices

City - City of Atqasuk
P.O. Box 91119
Atqasuk, AK 99791
Phone 907-633-6811
Fax 907-633-6812

Electric Utility - North Slope Borough
P.O. Box 69
Barrow, AK 99723
Phone 907-852-2611
Fax 907-852-0337

Tribe - federally recognized - Atqasuk Village
P.O. Box 91108
Atqasuk, AK 99791
Phone 907-633-2575
Fax 907-633-2576

Village Corporation - Atqasuk Corporation
P.O. Box 1169
Barrow, AK 99723
Phone 907-633-6414
Fax 907-633-6213


Regional Organizations

School District - North Slope Borough School District
P.O. Box 169
Barrow, AK 99723-0169
Phone 907-852-5311
Fax 907-852-9503

Regional Native Corporation - Arctic Slope Regional Corporation
P.O. Box 129
Barrow, AK 99723-0129
Phone 907-852-8633
Fax 907-852-5733

Regional Native Health Corporation - North Slope Borough Health and Social Services Agency
P.O. Box 69
Barrow, AK 99723
Phone 907-852-0366
Fax 907-852-0389

Regional Native Non-Profit - Arctic Slope Native Association, Limited
P.O. Box 1232
Barrow, AK 99723
Phone 907-852-2762
Fax 907-852-2763

Native Housing Authority - Tagiugmiullu Nunamiullu Housing Authority
P.O. Box 409
Barrow, AK 99723
Phone 907-852-7150
Fax 907-852-2038


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