2nd Class City
in the Northwest Arctic Borough
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (kiv uh lee' nuh)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
Geography and Climate
- Kivalina is at the tip of an 8-mile barrier reef located between the Chukchi Sea and Kivalina River. It lies 80 air miles northwest of Kotzebue.
- Kivalina lies in the transitional climate zone, which is characterized by long, cold winters and cool summers. The average low temperature during January is -15 °F; the average high during July is 57 °F. Temperature extremes have been measured from -54 to 85 °F. Annual snowfall averages 57 inches, with 8.6 inches of precipitation per year. The Chukchi Sea is ice-free and open to boat traffic from mid-June to the first of November.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Kivalina has long been a stopping-off place for seasonal travelers between Arctic coastal areas and Kotzebue Sound communities. It is the only village in the Northwest Arctic Borough region where people hunt the bowhead whale. At one time, the village was located at the north end of the Kivalina Lagoon. It was reported as "Kivualinagmut" in 1847 by Lt. Zagoskin of the Russian Navy. Lt. G.M. Stoney of the U.S. Navy reported the village as "Kuveleek" in 1885. A post office was established in 1940. An airstrip was built in 1960 using metal mattings. Kivalina incorporated as a city in 1969. During the 1970s, new houses, a new school, and an electric system were constructed in the village. Prior to 1976, high school students from Noatak would attend school in Kivalina and board with local families. Due to severe erosion and wind-driven ice damage, the city intends to relocate to a new site 2.5 miles away. Relocation alternatives have been studied, and a new site has been designed and engineered.
- Kivalina is a traditional Inupiat Eskimo village. Subsistence activities, including whaling, provide most food sources.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Kivalina
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale and importation of alcohol.
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Watering Point, School Water, Washeteria, Electric (AVEC), Volunteer Fire, Fire Hall, Airport (State Contract), Roads, Ice Roads, Bingo, Bingo Hall, City Office
- The major means of transportation into the community are plane and barge. A state-owned 3,000' long by 60' wide gravel airstrip serves daily flights from Kotzebue. Crowley Marine Services barges goods from Kotzebue during July and August. Small boats, ATVs, and snowmachines are used for local travel. Two main hunting trails follow the Kivalina and Wulik Rivers.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District