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Arctic Village Travel Guide, Alaska

Arctic Village, AK US - Overview: City with Record Low Population

Located on the eastern side of Chandalar River, this Alaskan town is positioned in the Barrow Recording District. Kutchin, the local dialect, is spoken by more than 97 percent of the population.

Climate and Location

Positioned 300 miles north of Fairbanks and encompassing 62 square miles and 9 square miles of land and water, the region boasts a sub-arctic climate with harsh and long winters and short and warm summers. Temperature fluctuates from -50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The average temperature is near zero and extreme temperature ranges from -75 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit. The average snowfall is 53 inches, whereas the average precipitation is 10 inches.

Demographics and Culture

The last census had a record low population of only 160 people, 40% of which were households. The population density was around 4 persons per square kilometer. The per capita income of was $ 11,000.

The northern part of Arctic village was very nomadic and used semi-permanent settlements and seasonal camps. They traded with the Eskimos of the coastal areas. It was only in the early 1900s when firearms came to the region and people started grouping themselves for permanent settlement. The Venetie Indian Reservation for land protection was established in 1943 and it was in 1959 that a new era of education started with its very first school established in the same year.

The region is very rich in its cultural heritage with the Adak Army Base adding to its glory. It was established in the year 1942 to form an installation and attack the forwarding Japanese troops. It proved to be a boon for the United States during the Second World War. The Church of Holy Ascension, which was established by the Russian American Fur Company, is headed by Father Veniaminov. The National Museum, showcasing the artifacts of the wars and battles and caricaturing the important events also add to the beauty of the culture.

Transportation and Economy

The subsistence-based economy of this region is very famous for hunting sheep, porcupine, moose and rabbit. Harvesting berries and catching fresh water fish are also popular activities. Village council and schools are the primary employers and seasonal employment is included in the areas of wildlife survey and firefighting.

The main and the foremost means of transportation is the plane, which provides easy access to the village. However, problems occur during the winter months, when fog interferes with the traffic. Local transportation is provided by snow machines, four wheelers and sometimes dog teams.

Arctic Village, in spite of its low population, has sufficient attractions to make your vacation interesting. So, don’t miss it!

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