Anaktuvuk Pass is located on a divide between the Anaktuvuk and John rivers in the central Brooks Range. The village lies about 250 miles northwest of Fairbanks and about the same distance southeast of Barrow. We are Nunamiut.
A brief history of Anaqtuuvak
Anaktuvuk Pass, a historic caribou migration route, is the last remaining settlement of the inland Iñupiat, the Nunamiut. The original nomadic Nunamiut left the Brooks Range and scattered in the early 1900s, mostly due to the collapse of the caribou population.
By the 1940s, several Nunamiut families returned to the area and settled at the broad, treeless Anaktuvuk Pass, “the place of caribou droppings.”
During the 1940s, life began to change for the Nunamiut. Contact with outsiders brought a reliable supply of guns, ammunition, and foodstuffs which the people acquired in trade for wolf hides and other furs. The pilot Sigurd Wien, after trading with the Nunamiut for some years, convinced the band at Chandler Lake to relocate to the Anaktuvuk Valley, promising improved air service and the possibility of schooling for the children. By 1949, the Nunamiut—consisting of five families from Chandler Lake, followed by eight families from the Killik River—moved to a plateau at the headwaters of the John River and founded the village of Anaktuvuk Pass. Before long the community had its own school, airstrip, and church.
The community was incorporated as a second class city in 1957.
May 3, 1973
NUNAMIUT CORPORATION, INC. was registered at Alaska on 03 May 1973 as a business corporation. The principal address is 1038 Summer Street, Anaktuvuk Pass, AK 99721.
Today, Anaktuvuk Pass is a village close to 400 people with regular air service, a village store, and a popular museum that highlights Nunamiut history and culture. Village residents rely on caribou herds for most of their meat, though they also hunt Dall sheep and harvest trout and grayling, ptarmigan, and waterfowl. The people of Anaktuvuk Pass still trade for food resources from the Arctic coast like meat and maktak from seals and whales.
The local village corporation, Nunamiut Corporation, owns a grocery and merchandise store, and also sells propane fuel and gasoline. The sale or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited by law.