Deering is situated at the mouth of the Inmachuk River, on the north side of the Seward Peninsula, and is approximately 60 air miles from the regional hub, Kotzebue. Deering is on a sand and gravel spit a mere 7 feet above sea level.
The Inmachukmiut are the people of the Inmachuk River, and are Iñupiat. Iñupiaq, the indigenous language, is part of the Eskimo-Aleut language family, and Malimiut is one name for the dialect traditionally spoken in Deering.
122 people live in Deering (2010 United States Census), primarily Iñupiat. The population of Deering has, since 1900, fluctuated when gold prices have changed. The median age in 2010 was 30.
As a mixed cash and subsistence economy, residents live on a combination of natural resources and cash income. Employers include the Native Village of Deering (tribe), the City of Deering, Maniilaq Association, the Deering School (NWABSD), NANA Regional Corporation, the United States Post Office, local stores and area airlines. Several residents work at the Red Dog Mine, located within the region. Residents also derive income from the creation and sale of arts and crafts and trapping.
Approximately 68 homes shelter Deering residents, most of which are detached, freestanding residences, housing an average of 2.92 people each. 44.1% of these homes are owner-occupied, with a median value of $54,200. Those paying rent pay median rent of $738/mo.
ATVs and snowmobiles (“sno-gos,” “snowmachines”) are the most common form of ground transportation in Deering, though there are some trucks. The village is not connected to any other communities by rail or permanent road, though in winter there are flagged ice trails connecting Deering to Candle, Buckland, Shishmaref, Nome and Kotzebue.
Aerial View of Deering, Alaska
1. Land use planning including zoning areas for industrial uses and housing expansion options.
2. Alternative and renewable energy development (wind, solar, hydro, tidal) – lower electric costs and add capacity for future community growth.
3. Improve our community capacity in order to have functioning organizations and programs.
4. Village law enforcement to reduce crime and enforce laws including curfew – VPSO and VPSO.
5. Multi-purpose office building with the City and Tribe – additional office space to support more jobs in the community, centralize the utilities and local government offices.
6. Dump site repairs – improvements to limit contamination of the environment, reduce tundra and sea ice garbage, and ensure it can contain trash.
7. Erosion control with a plan and funding.
8. Culture camp with youth and Elders to teach traditional knowledge including video production for preservation of knowledge.
9. Cultural center with an arts and crafts workshop and sales center, display area for archeological objects, and tourism/visitors center including programs to teach adults and youth Native heritage and skills.
10. Barge landing development.