Upper Kalskag (Kessiglik)


In 1898 Nicholas Kameroff, Sr. and his wife Olinga, along with their eight children, founded the community of Upper Kalskag, which is commonly called Kalskag. People from the village of Kalthagamut began to settle there. Today, the Village of Kalskag is a federally recognized traditional council providing services to tribal members. Families stock their larders with many kinds of subsistence foods such as salmon, moose, rabbit, and waterfowl. Many Kalskag residents have strong connections to the Catholic faith.


Upper Kalskag, and its twin city, Lower Kalskag, are primarily Yup’ik and Athabascan communities only two miles apart from one another located in the middle Kuskokwim River area. They share one airport and the state maintains a dirt road which joins the two communities. They are about 26 miles west of Aniak, the closest large city and about 90 miles northeast of Bethel. The climate in these cities is semi-arctic with maritime influences from the Bering Sea. The precipitation averages about 19 inches, with 60 inches of snowfall. Temperatures range between -55 and 87. The Kuskokwim River is ice-free from mid-June through October.