Tuntutuliak (Tuntutuliaq) “place of many reindeer”


Tuntutuliak lies on the banks of the Qinaq River approximately three miles from the confluence of the Kuskokwim River. It is southwest and about 40 miles downriver from Bethel. Originally it was located four miles east of the present settlement, but was moved in 1945 to higher ground because of recurrent flooding and renamed Tuntutuliak.


Children in Tuntutuliak attend immersion school through the third grade where they are taught in Yup’ik. Many families depend on subsistence foods such as seal and salmon. In the summers, more than half of the residents stay at fish camps located along the Qinaq River.


The land provides many kinds of resources that are harvested by the people of Tuntutuliak. These include different species of salmon, whitefish, and herring, along with many different kinds of waterfowl and their eggs, ptarmigan, caribou, and moose. Many wild plants, roots, and berries grow plentifully and are gathered as well. The coast is also a rich source of food and wild resources.


Many fishermen of Qinaq hold salmon and herring roe commercial permits. Most year-round income is from public service jobs in education, health, and also from commercial fishing and fish processing. Flush toilets using a flush/haul system exist, and the school has its own well and sewage lagoon.