2nd Class City
in the Northwest Arctic Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (sell' uh wick)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Geography and Climate
- Selawik is located at the mouth of the Selawik River, where it empties into Selawik Lake, about 90 miles east of Kotzebue. It lies 670 miles northwest of Anchorage. The city is near the Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, a key breeding and resting spot for migratory waterfowl.
- The community is located in the transitional climate zone. Temperatures average -10 to 15 °F during winter and 40 to 65 °F during summer. Temperature extremes have been recorded from -50 to 83 °F. Annual snowfall averages 35 to 40 inches, with 10 inches of precipitation. The Selawik River is navigable from early June to mid-October.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Lt. L.A. Zagoskin of the Imperial Russian Navy first reported the village in the 1840s as "Chilivik." Ivan Petroff counted 100 "Selawigamute" people in his 1880 census. Selawik is an Eskimo name for a species of fish. Around 1908, the site had a small wooden schoolhouse and church. The village has continued to grow and has expanded across the Selawik River onto three banks, linked by bridges. Selawik incorporated as a first-class city in 1974 but in 1977 changed to a second-class city government.
- Selawik is an Inupiat Eskimo community active in traditional subsistence fishing and hunting.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Selawik
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale and importation of alcohol.
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Watering Point, Piped Sewer, HoneyBucket Hauling, Electric (AVEC), Landfill, Police and State Funded Public Safety Officer, Volunteer Fire, Public Safety Office, Multi Purpose Facility, Cable TV, Roads, Bingo
- Selawik is accessible by plane and barge. The Roland Norton Memorial Airport provides a gravel runway owned by the city. The state also owns a gravel airstrip with a crosswind strip. Scheduled flights are available to Kotzebue and area villages. Docking facilities and a barge landing area exist. Freight is shipped upriver from Kotzebue each summer by Crowley Marine Services. Boardwalks have been constructed within the village. Boats, ATVs, and snow machines are prevalent forms of local travel.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District
- Incorporation Type
- 2nd Class City