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Brevig Mission

Brevig Mission

Browse Locations Brevig Mission


Brevig Mission



Current Population:  414   (2011 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)

Incorporation Type: 2nd Class City

Located In:; Nome Census Area

Taxes: Sales: 3%, Property: None, Special: None



Location and Climate

Brevig Mission is located at the mouth of Shelman Creek on Port Clarence, 5 miles northwest of Teller and 65 miles northwest of Nome. The community lies at approximately 65.334720° North Latitude and -166.489170° West Longitude.  (Sec. 09, T002S, R038W, Kateel River Meridian.)  Brevig Mission is located in the Cape Nome Recording District.  The area encompasses 2.6 sq. miles of land and 0.1 sq. miles of water.

Brevig Mission has a maritime climate with continental influences when the Bering Sea freezes. Summer temperatures average 44 to 57 °F. Winter temperatures average -9 to 8 °F. Annual precipitation averages 11.5 inches, and annual snowfall averages 50 inches. Port Clarence is generally ice-free between early June and mid-November.


History, Culture and Demographics

The Kauwerak Eskimos in this area lived in migratory communities in pursuit of hunting and fishing grounds and traded furs with Siberia, Little Diomede, and King Island. They formed alliances with Wales, Little Diomede, and others for protection. The "Teller Reindeer Station" opened near this site in 1892; it was operated by the U.S. Government until 1900. The Norwegian Rev. Tollef L. Brevig, a pioneer Lutheran missionary, began serving the reindeer station on August 1, 1894, as pastor and teacher to the Laplanders and Eskimos. Rev. Brevig traveled between villages by dog team along the beach and often performed services in Nome. A Lutheran mission was constructed at the present site in 1900, and the village became known as "Teller Mission." The mission was given 100 reindeer on a five-year loan from the government. By 1906, the government's role had diminished, and the mission became dominant. In 1963, the Brevig Mission post office was established. The city was incorporated in 1969. Reindeer were the economic base of this community until 1974, but the industry has since declined.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Native Village of Brevig Mission. Brevig Mission is predominantly Inupiat Eskimo with a subsistence lifestyle. The sale, importation, and possession of alcohol is banned in the village.

According to Census 2010, there were 103 housing units in the community and 93 were occupied. Its population was 91.5 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 4.6 percent white; 0.5 percent black; 2.8 percent of the local residents had multi-racial backgrounds. Additionally, 0.5 percent of the population was of Hispanic decent.


Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care

A piped water and sewer system is available. Water is supplied by 2 underground wells located near Shelmon Creek and is treated and stored in a 100,000-gallon tank at the washeteria. The tank is filled monthly. Water is piped into the school from the city's water mains. The landfill is unpermitted. Electricity is provided by AVEC. There is one school located in the community,  attended by 126 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include Brevig Mission Clinic.  Brevig Mission Clinic is a Primary Health Care facility with coastal and air access.



The people of Brevig Mission subsist upon fish, moose, reindeer, seal, walrus, and beluga whales. The primary employers are the city and school district. Year-round jobs are scarce, unemployment is high, and seasonal jobs in mining and construction have become limited due to a depressed minerals market. Arts and crafts provide some cash income.

The 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) estimated 881 residents as employed. The public sector employed 27.3%1 of all workers. The local unemployment rate was 36.7%1. The percentage of workers not in labor force was 34.7%1. The ACS surveys established that average median household income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $29,750 (MOE +/-$5,879)1. The per capita income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $7,898 (MOE +/-$1,945)1. About 43.2%1 of all residents had incomes below the poverty level. 




Brevig Mission is accessible by air and sea and, in the winter, over land or ice. A cargo ship visits annually. The state-owned 2,990' long by 100' wide gravel airstrip with a 2,110' long by 75' wide gravel crosswind strip enables year-round access. Regular air service is available from Nome, and charters are provided from Nome and Teller. Teller is 5 miles away by boat. A 72-mile gravel road between Teller and Nome is maintained by the state during the summer.

Organizations with Local Offices

City - City of Brevig Mission
P.O. Box 85021
Brevig Mission, AK 99785
Phone 907-642-3038
Fax 907-642-2194

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

Tribe - federally recognized - Native Village of Brevig Mission
P.O. Box 85039
Brevig Mission, AK 99785
Phone 907-642-4301
Fax 907-642-2099

Village Corporation - Brevig Mission Native Corporation
P.O. Box 85024
Brevig Mission, AK 99785
Phone 907-642-4091
Fax 907-642-2060



Regional Organizations

School District - Bering Strait School District
P.O. Box 225
Unalakleet, AK 99684-0225
Phone 907-624-3611
Fax 907-624-3099

Regional Native Corporation - Bering Straits Native Corporation
4600 Debarr Rd., Suite 200
Nome, AK 99762
Phone 907-563-3788
Fax 907-563-3788

Regional Native Health Corporation - Norton Sound Health Corporation
P.O. Box 966
Nome, AK 99762
Phone 907-443-3311
Fax 907-443-2085
Web http:/

Regional Native Non-Profit - Kawerak, Incorporated
P.O. Box 948
Nome, AK 99762
Phone 907-443-5421
Fax 907-443-4452

Native Housing Authority - Bering Straits Regional Housing Authority
P.O. Box 995
Nome, AK 99762
Phone 907-443-5256
Fax 907-443-2160

Regional Development - Bering Strait Development Council
P.O. Box 948
Nome,  99762
Phone 907-443-4248
Fax 907-443-4449

Economic Development - CDQ Group - Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation
420 L St., Suite 310
Anchorage, AK 99501-1971
Phone 907-274-2248
Fax 907-274-2249



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