Located at the mouth of Shelman Creek on Port Clarence, Brevig Mission is named for Norwegian Rev. Tollef L. Brevig, a pioneer Lutheran missionary who served as pastor to the nearby Teller Reindeer Station beginning in 1894. Reindeer provided Brevig Mission’s economic base until 1974, but the industry has since declined.
Located on the west coast of Little Diomede Island in the Bering Strait, Diomede sits only 2.5 miles from Big Diomede Island, Russia. Villagers must travel to the mainland for supplies, and mail is delivered only once per week.
Located on the northwest shore of Norton Bay, Elim is a former federal reindeer reserve that hosts a checkpoint each year during the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Many Elim residents hold commercial fishing permits.
Gambell is located 36 miles from Siberia on St. Lawrence Island, which was once home to 35 villages and more than 4,000 people. The village’s population was decimated by famine between 1878 and 1880.
Once a trading post that provided a prospecting center for the Seward Peninsula’s 19th century gold rush, Golovin is named for Captain Vasily Golovnin of the Russian Navy. A former gold field supply point and reindeer herding center, today Golovin is a subsistence community where residents also participate in commercial fishing.
Koyuk is located just north of Cape Denbigh, where researchers have found evidence of human settlements established as much as 8,000 years ago. The Koyuk are became a supply center for gold and coal mining in the 19th century.
The hub of the Bering Strait region, Nome is the center of operations for Norton Sound Health Corporation. The city is Alaska’s 16th most populous and is famous as a gold development area and the finish line of the world-famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the longest sled dog race in the world.
Situated 39 miles southeast of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island, Savoonga is a bilingual community known as the “Walrus Capital of the World.”
The first and southernmost Malemiut settlement on Norton Sound, Shaktoolik has been relocated twice – once, in 1933, from its original location six miles upriver to the mouth of the Shaktoolik River, and again in 1967 due to wind and storms at the second site.
Originally called Kigiktaq, in 1816 Shishmaref was renamed after a member of Lt. Otto Von Kotzebue’s crew. Today the village experiences dramatic coastal erosion at a rate of 3 to 5 feet per year, and plans to move Shishmaref have been under discussion for more than a decade.
Located on the east coast of St. Michael Island, St. Michael was a trading post dating back to Russian colonial days that swelled to a population of 10,000 during the gold rush.
Originally called Tapraq, Stebbins is a subsistence community located on the northwest coast of St. Michael Island.
Teller gets its name from the Teller Reindeer Station, opened nearby in 1892 and named for Secretary of the Interior Henry Moore Teller. During the gold rush, its population swelled as high as 5,000.
A onetime major trade center for the Kaltag Portage winter trade route, Unalakleet has been inhabited since as long ago as 200 B.C.
Although it is an established whaling community, Wales actually gets its name from the Prince of Wales George Augustus Frederick, for whom Captain James Cook named Cape Prince of Wales in 1778.
Originally an Inupiat fish camp known as Nutchirviq, White Mountain grew as prospectors arrived in the region during the gold rush. Today it serves as a key checkpoint near the end of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.