2nd Class City
in the Bethel Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (nuh pack' ee ack)
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Water & Sewar Flush/ Hall, Washeteria, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Police, State Funded Public Safety Officer (VPSO), Volunteer Fre, Public Safety Building, Room Rentals, Roads, Bingo/Pull Tabs
Geography and Climate
- Napakiak is on the north bank of the Kuskokwim River, 15 miles southwest of Bethel. It is located on an island between the Kuskokwim River and Johnson's Slough. It lies 407 miles west of Anchorage.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- Napakiak is influenced by storms in the Bering Sea and also by inland continental weather. Average annual precipitation is 16 inches, with 50 inches of snowfall. Summer high temperatures average 59 to 62 °F, and winter highs average 11 to 19 °F. Extremes from 86 to -46 °F have been recorded. The Kuskokwim River is typically ice-free from June through October.
History and Culture
- Yup'ik Eskimos have lived in this region since 1000 AD. The village was first reported in 1878 by E.W. Nelson, although at the time it was downriver, at the mouth of the Johnson River. In 1884, Moravian explorers mentioned Napakiak as being close to Napaskiak, which suggests that the new village site may have been occupied by that time. By 1910, the village had a population of 166. In 1926, the Moravian Church had a lay worker in the village who began constructing a chapel; funds were raised for construction by the Ohio Moravian Association. It took three years to complete the work, and in August 1929 people came from many villages in the area to attend the dedication ceremony. In 1939 a BIA school began operating, and in 1946 a Native-owned village cooperative store was opened. A post office was established in 1951. A National Guard Armory was built in 1960. The city was incorporated in 1970. The first airstrip was completed in 1973, enabling year-round access. The city's primary priority in 2009 was to relocate all public facilities and homes to a bluff across Johnson's Slough. The sandbar on which the city was built is severely eroding.
- This city is predominantly Yup'ik Eskimos who maintain a fishing and subsistence lifestyle.
- Indigenous Language
- Central Yup'ik
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Napakiak
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale, importation, and possession of alcohol.
- Incorporation Type
- 2nd Class City
- Public Education
- Not permitted to provide this service.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Not required to exercise the powers in any circumstance, but may be permitted in all cases in the manner described for first class cities.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 20 mills, except where a higher levy is required to avoid default. Voter approval required.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes; however, voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 7 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected from the city council for a 1-year term, unless a longer term is provided by ordinance. Mayor selected by council (or by voters upon adoption of ordinance).
- Vote by Mayor
- Votes on all matters.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Does not have veto power.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted, but requires voter approval.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- May not adopt home-rule charter without first reclassifying to a first-class city.
- Napakiak has a State-owned lighted gravel runway that is centrally located. The first airstrip was completed in 1973, enabling year-round access. There are also seaplane landing areas on the Kuskokwim River and Johnson Slough that provide air transportation for passengers, mail, and cargo. A hovercraft is used year-round to bring cargo and mail to the community. There are currently no docking facilities at the landing. The Kuskokwim River provides water transportation in the summer months (June-October) and an ice road in the winter months. For safety the ice road is marked with trail markers. In addition to the ice road there is a winter trail marking the way to Bethel, 9 miles overland. Many residents have fishing boats, and skiffs are used in the summer for subsistence fishing and travel to Bethel and other nearby villages. Snow machines and ATVs are used in winter. Barges deliver goods from Bethel during the summer months.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection