Anaktuvuk Pass Population: 324 (2010 US Census Population)
There is a place just inside the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve that is over 2,200 feet above the Arctic Ocean. It is a mountain pass where the peaks of the Brooks Range rise into the sky. We call it Anaktuvuk Pass and we are the last remaining settlement of Iñupiat known as the Nunamiut, the People of the Land. Our ancestors came to this place of earliest memory because it is rich with caribou and other game animals like moose, sheep, brown bear and birds.
It was from here near the mountains that our ancestors traveled the old trade routes out to the coast to trade with our coastal Iñupiat relatives, trading riches of the interior for the wealth of the ocean and the coast.
It was the caribou that gave the People of the Land, the Nunamiut, life and when the great herds declined in the early 20th Century, most of the Nunamiut joined our relatives in the coastal villages to survive.
Some of us stayed in our ancestral home. That is why Anaktuvuk Pass is still here today. And that is why visitors find a museum dedicated to the ancient way of life practiced by our people throughout the Brooks Range. For the people of the land, this is our last, best place.
Economic and employment opportunities are limited in Anaktuvuk Pass, due to its isolation. Hunting and trapping for the sale of skins, guiding hunters, or making traditional Caribou skin masks or clothing provides income. Some residents have seasonal employment outside of the community. Caribou is the primary source of meat; other subsistence foods include trout, grayling, moose, sheep, brown bear, ptarmigan, and waterfowl.
When you partner with the Arctic Slope Community Foundation you are investing in Anaktuvuk Pass. You are giving us strength -- you are giving strength to everyone who lives here.