A Visit to an Nunamiut Inupiat Eskimo City
Anaktuvuk Pass Travel Blog› entry 10 of 18 › view all entries
Anaktuvuk Pass literally means "place of many caribou droppings". The town was founded along one of the major caribou migration paths in Alaska by the last nomadic tribe of Nunamiut Eskimos in the mid-20th century. However in order to keep some manner of their traditions they built the town along the migration paths in order to continue to hunt caribou as they had done for centuries.
We landed on the towns airstrip after the first leg of our flight. Much of the town, from the homes, stores, school, the few cars, and all the supplies, food, etc. are flown in from other parts of Alaska via this airstrip. While somewhat trite part of the local income for the town is to show tourists like us around town during the summer months (part of the cost of the flight tour). We were met by some locals (including the local mosquitos which were out in full force) who walked us through the town, showing us the school, post office, a few homes before we ended at a small museum.
During our walk and tour one of our escorts was a young girl of about 15 years of age. She was very interesting to talk to and had an interesting perspective on growing up in Anaktuvuk Pass and of wanting to maintain some of the traditions of her parents and grandparents, but at the same time having the desire to continue her schooling in Fairbanks and then go on to college. She was incredibly knowledgeable and down to earth and provided an amazing viewpoint on the area.
Oh and one other thing of note.
After a bit under 2 hours or so exploring the town it was time to head back to the airplanes and return to Coldfoot. But the flights are both pretty much covered in the previous entry, so you can go back and check out the details there.