Point Hope Population: 674 (2010 US Census Population)
This is a place over 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle where tall cliffs rise over a thousand feet out of the Chukchi Sea and it's the most northwestern point in North America. We call it Tikiġaq or Point Hope. In Point Hope, the ancient bones of whales still stand as markers of the graves of our ancestors. These ancient whalebones, weathered by cold winds blowing off the Chukchi Sea and by elements, so powerful few can imagine their power.
The whalebones are more than just gravestones reminding us of those who have gone before – they stand at the true center of our culture and our way of life.
It is a traditional way of life that goes back over 2,500 years to a time when first peoples crossed to this continent on the Siberian Land Bridge when our Inupiaq ancestors first came here following the bowhead whale. They found a place rich with life – Bowhead whales, caribou, polar and grizzly bears, over 125 different species of birds, walrus, beluga, and seal. In addition, through time they left a place rich with culture and community.
Several settlements have existed on the peninsula over the past 2,500 years, including Old and New Tigara, Ipiutak, Jabbertown, and present Point Hope. The peninsula offers good access to marine mammals, and ice conditions allow easy boat launchings into open leads early in the spring whaling season. The people were traditionally aggressive and exercised dominance over an extensive area, from the Utukok to Kivalina Rivers, and far inland. By 1848, commercial whaling activities brought an influx of Westerners, many of whom employed Point Hope villagers. By the late 1880s, the whalers established shore-based whaling stations, such as Jabbertown. These disappeared with the demise of whaling in the early 1900s
When you collaborate with the Arctic Slope Community Foundation, you are investing in Point Hope. You are giving us strength -- you are giving strength to everyone who lives here.