The History of Ekuk

Ekuk is located on the east coast of Nushagak Bay, 17 miles south of Dillingham. It is spread out for about 2 miles along a narrow gravel spit that extends from the Ekuk Bluffs in the shape of a hook. It lies at approximately 58 49' N Latitude, 158 33' W Longitude (Sec. 12, T016S, R056W, Seward Meridian). The community is located in the Bristol Bay Recording District. The area encompasses 15 sq. miles of land and 10 sq. miles of water.

The word Ekuk means "the last village down," reflecting that Ekuk is the farthest village south on the Nushagak Bay. The village is mentioned in Russian accounts of 1824 and 1828 as Village Ekouk and Seleniye Ikuk. It is thought that Ekuk was a major Eskimo village at one time. Russians employed Natives as guides for their boats as they navigated up Nushagak Bay to the trading post at Aleksandrovsk after 1818. Before the North Alaska Salmon Company opened a cannery at Ekuk in 1903, many residents had moved to the Moravian Mission at Carmel. In addition, numerous canneries sprang up during 1888 and 1889 on the east and west sides of the bay, which drew many residents away from the village. Ekuk had a school from 1958 to 1974. Today, the cannery watchman's family are the only year-round residents. In the summer, the village comes alive with cannery crews, commercial fishing and subsistence activities.


To Community Histories Index Alaska DCCED Community Database Online


History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development