A Visit to an Nunamiut Inupiat Eskimo City

Anaktuvuk Pass Travel Blog

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Looking out over the town of Anaktuvuk Pass. The entire town has been flown in since its founding in the late 1940s

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.

Welcome to Anaktuvuk Pass
  The museum had a bunch of local artifacts and told the story of the Nunamiut from their early nomadic days to their current life in Anaktuvuk Pass.

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.

Post Office in Anaktuvuk Pass
  We stopped at the general store in the town and found Ramen Noodles available for sale.  Picked up one package for later in the trip.  These aren't any Ramen Noodles that the college kids can buy though.  These cost $1 per package.  Actually they are the same Ramen Noodles that's just the going rate up here where everything costs more due to the transportation costs.  (More on this to be explained in a later entry).

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.

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Looking out over the town of Anakt…
Looking out over the town of Anak…
Welcome to Anaktuvuk Pass
Welcome to Anaktuvuk Pass
Post Office in Anaktuvuk Pass
Post Office in Anaktuvuk Pass
Caribou antlers
Caribou antlers
A residence in Anaktuvuk Pass
A residence in Anaktuvuk Pass
Winter transportation
Winter transportation
Our two planes on the ground in An…
Our two planes on the ground in A…
Anaktuvuk Pass
photo by: Kramerdude