The History of
Anaktuvuk Pass

Anaktuvuk Pass, at 2,200 feet elevation on the divide between the Anaktuvuk and John Rivers in the central Brooks Range, is the last remaining settlement of the Nunamiut (inland northern Inupiat Eskimo). It lies at approximately 68 08' N Latitude, 151 45' W Longitude (Sec. 18, T015S, R002E, Umiat Meridian). The community is located in the Barrow Recording District. The area encompasses 14 sq. miles of land and 0 sq. miles of water.

Nunamiut bands left the Brooks Range and scattered due to the collapse of caribou in 1926-27, and also because of cultural changes brought by the influx of western civilization. In 1938, however, several Nunamiut families left the coast and returned to the mountains at Killik River and Chandler Lake. In 1949, the Chandler Lake group moved to Anaktuvuk Pass ("the place of caribou droppings"), where they were later joined by the Killik River group. This settlement attracted Nunamiut from many other locations, and villagers today lead a somewhat more sedentary lifestyle than in earlier nomadic times. A Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1966.

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