Buckland is located on the west bank of the Buckland River, about 75 air miles southeast of Kotzebue.
The population of Buckland has quadrupled in less than a century, from 104 in 1930 to a current population of around 416. Ninety-seven percent of Buckland inhabitants are Iñupiat.
Residents depend on subsistence hunting and fishing, and trade among family and regional connections, for most food, drawing on local game resources. Employment is primarily with the school, IRA, city, health clinic, and small stores. Some mining also occurs. One resident holds a commercial fishing permit. Interest is high in developing village and home-based manufacturing, to generate new sources of income via ivory and wood carving, and regional edibles.
There are roughly 95 residential structures in Buckland. Almost all are occupied. The median home value in Buckland is $120,000. The median rent is $717. The average family household size is 5.2 persons. It is a growing, family-oriented community.
There are no roads connecting Buckland to the rest of the state. Residents travel overland to other villages and to reach subsistence hunting grounds by all-terrain vehicle and snowmachine, depending on the season.
The Buckland Clinic, operated by Maniilaq Association, provides routine health care. The clinic is staffed by a health aide, who is on call 24 hours a day, and by volunteers. Emergency patients are transported to Maniilaq Health Center in Kotzebue.
Electricity – The Kotzebue Electric Association is contracted to provide electrical power to Buckland via diesel generators with a peak capacity of 650 KiloWatts. The cost is 40 cents per Kilowatt Hour (KWH).
Aerial View of Buckland, Alaska
1. Water and sewer in the whole village with standardized piped systems.
2. Multi-purpose IRA-City-Post Office building for better facilities, allow program growth, and additional village based jobs.
3. Bridge across the Buckland River that provides access to land for development via existing community roads and an evacuation route for disasters.
4. More communication equipment and services for search and rescue situations.
5. Teach culture to youth and adults.
6. Youth center building/facility for Head- and Early Start program, youth recreation center, Boys and Girls Club, day care, and outside recreation park (playground, softball, etc).
7. Improve existing roads - foundation improvements and surface treat for dust control.
8. Trail staking and maintenance.
9. Acquire New heavy equipment.
10. Alternative energy development standardized piped systems.