The History of
the Northwest Arctic Borough

The Northwest Arctic Borough is comprised of the Kotzebue Sound and cities along the Noatak and Kobuk Rivers in Northwest Alaska. It lies at approximately 66 54' N Latitude, 162 35' W Longitude . The community is located in the Kotzebue Recording District. The area encompasses 35,863 sq. miles of land and 4,799 sq. miles of water.

This area has been occupied by Inupiat Eskimos for at least 10,000 years. "Kikiktagruk" was the hub of ancient arctic trading routes. Kotzebue Sound was "discovered" in 1818 by the German Lt. Otto Von Kotzebue on behalf of Russia. In 1899 a post office was established in Kotzebue. Most cities in the borough developed as supply stations for Interior gold mining. The Borough government was formed in 1986.


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