1st Class City
in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- 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
- Piped Water, Piped Sewer, Refuse Collection, Landfill, VPSO, Volunteer Fire, Health Clinic, Airport (State Contract), Harbor/Dock, Library, Liquor Store, Schools, Bingo, Internet Service
Geography and Climate
- Kake is located on the northwest coast of Kupreanof Island along Keku Strait, 38 air miles northwest of Petersburg and 95 air miles southwest of Juneau.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- Kake has a maritime climate characterized by cool summers and mild winters. It receives much less precipitation than is typical of Southeast Alaska, averaging 54 inches a year, with 44 inches of snow. Average summer temperatures range from 44 to 62 °F; winter temperatures average 26 to 43 °F. Temperature extremes have been recorded from -14 to 88 °F.
History and Culture
- Historically, the Kake tribe of the Tlingits controlled the trade routes around Kuiu and Kupreanof islands, defending their territory against other tribal groups in the region. Ventures into the region by early European explorers and traders resulted in occasional skirmishes between Native Tlingits and foreigners. Tensions between locals and outsiders had been escalating when, in 1869, a non-Native sentry at the settlement in Sitka shot and killed a Kake Native. In accordance with their traditional custom, the Kakes then killed two prospectors in retribution. In reprisal, the U.S. Navy sent the USS Saginaw to punish the Kakes by shelling their villages and destroying their homes, boats, and stored foods. The Kake people survived this onslaught but were forced to disperse and live with other tribes to survive. Over the following 20 years, the Kakes regrouped at the current village site. In 1891, a government school and store were built. A Society of Friends mission was also established. A post office was built in 1904. In the early part of the 20th century, Kake became the first Alaska Native village to organize under federal law, resulting in U.S. citizenship for community residents. In 1912, the first cannery was built near Kake. After the Second World War, timber harvesting and processing became a major local industry. The city was incorporated in 1952.
- It is a Tlingit village with a fishing, logging, and subsistence lifestyle. Traditional customs are important to the Kakes. The world's largest totem pole was commissioned by Kake and carved by Chilkats in 1967 for Alaska's centennial celebration. The 132-foot totem pole now stands on a bluff overlooking town.
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Organized Village of Kake
- Local Option Restrictions
- Sale by municipality operated license only: Package Store Only
- Incorporation Type
- 1st Class City
- Public Education
- Must provide the service in accordance with AS 14.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Must exercise the powers in accordance with AS 29.40.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 30 mills, except where a higher levy is necessary to avoid default on debt. Voter approval is not required under State law; however, stricter limitations can be imposed at the local level.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes, but voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 6 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected at large for a 3-year term, unless a different term not to exceed 4 years is provided by ordinance.
- Vote by Mayor
- May vote to break a tie vote on the city council.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Has veto power, except veto is not permitted of ordinance prohibiting posession of alcohol.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted by statute.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- Voters may adopt home-rule charter.
- Kake can be reached by air and sea. There are scheduled float plane and air taxi flights from Juneau and Sitka. Kake has a state-owned lighted, paved runway west of town and a seaplane base at the city dock. Kake does participate in the Essential Air Services program which subsidizes the cost of commercial air flights. State ferry and barge services are available. Facilities also include a small boat harbor, boat launch, deep water dock, and state ferry terminal. There are about 120 miles of logging roads in the Kake area, but no connections to other communities on Kupreanof Island.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection