Yup'ik Eskimos have lived in this region since 1,000 A.D. The village was first reported in 1878 by E.W. Nelson, although it was downriver, at the mouth of the Johnson River. In 1884, Moravian explorers mention Napakiak as being close to Napaskiak, which suggests that the new village site may have been occupied by that time. By 1910, the village had a population of 166. In 1926, the Moravian Church had a lay worker in the village who began constructing a chapel; funds were raised for construction by the Ohio Moravian Association. It took three years to complete the work, and in August 1929, people came from many villages in the area to attend the dedication ceremony. In 1939, a BIA school began operating, and in 1946 a Native-owned village cooperative store was opened. A post office was established in 1951. The National Guard Armory was built in 1960, and the first airstrip was completed in 1973. The City's primary priority at this time is to relocate all public facilities and homes to a bluff across Johnson's Slough. The sandbar on which the City was built is severely eroding.
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