Nunapitchuk (Nunanguaq) - The Akulmiut

 

Akulmiut are known as ‘people of the tundra’ whose descendants live in the communities of Atmautluak, Kasigluk, and Nunapitchuk located in the middle of the delta between the Kuskokwim and Yukon rivers (Andrew, 1989). Today Kasigluk is split into two smaller communities known as Kasigluk Akiuk, and Kasigluk Akula.

 

In 2000, about 430 were living here. Nunapitchuk lies on the Johnson River about 22 miles northwest of Bethel. The river separates the community in two.  All the main buildings such as the school, city office and health aide clinic, general store, and post office are located on one side of the river, and residents living on the other side must commute to their jobs or to the school with boats in summer or snow machines or ATV’s in winter. Commuting becomes precarious before solid ice forms during freeze-up.

 

Many families can be found at fish camp during the fishing season. These camps are located up and down the river from Nunapitchuk. While many are far away, some fish camps are located just a few miles from Nunapitchuk. A local general store stocks necessities, such as groceries, and provides access to heating fuel and gasoline, as well as cable television, to residents.

 

Tap water is available year round as they have a well water treatment facility and flush/haul system in many homes, however most residents prefer to use rain water as their drinking water supply. Some households still use honeybuckets and must haul their own water though water delivery is available. As with other rural communities, a small gravel airstrip is state owned and maintained which provides chartered or private air access year-round.