2nd Class City
in the Northwest Arctic Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (sell' uh wick)
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Fisheries Participation and Earnings
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- 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
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.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- 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.
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.
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Selawik
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale and importation 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.
- 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