2nd Class City
in the Northwest Arctic Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (shung' nack)
- 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, Watering Point, Piped Sewer, HoneyBucket Hauling, Electric (AVEC), Refuse Collection, Landfill, Health Clinic, Police, Volunteer Fire, Public Safety Building, Dock, Post Office, Cable TV, Roads, Building Rental
Geography and Climate
- Shungnak is located on the west bank of the Kobuk River, about 150 miles east of Kotzebue. The original settlement was 10 miles further upstream at Kobuk.
- 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 -60 to 90 °F. Annual snowfall averages 80 inches, with 16 inches of total precipitation. The Kobuk River is navigable from the end of May to mid-October.
History and Culture
- Founded in 1899 as a supply point for mining activities in the Cosmos Hills, this Inupiat Eskimo village was forced to move in the 1920s because of river erosion and flooding. The old site, 10 miles upstream, was renamed Kobuk by those who remained there. The new village was named "Kochuk" but later reverted to Shungnak. This name is derived from the Eskimo word "Issingnak," which means jade, a stone found extensively throughout the surrounding hills. The city government was incorporated in 1967.
- It is a traditional Inupiat Eskimo village with a subsistence lifestyle. High school students from Kobuk attend school in Shungnak.
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Shungnak
- 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.
- Shungnak is accessible by plane, barge, or small boat. The state-owned lighted gravel runway has scheduled regional air services. Fuel and supplies are barged in each summer by Crowley Marine Services of Kotzebue. Small boats, ATVs, snow machines, and dog sleds are used for local travel and subsistence activities. Trails along the river are used for inter-village travel.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection