Noorvik, or Nuurvik in Iñupiaq, is located on the south bank of the Nazuruk Channel of the Kobuk River, about 30 miles downriver from the southern border of 1.7 million acre Kobuk Valley National Park. Noorvik is 33 miles northeast of Selawik and 42 air miles southwest of Kotzebue on the opposite side of Hotham Inlet, also known as Kobuk Lake.
88.3% of Noorvik residents are Iñupiaq, with ancestral ties to the land. Iñupiaq is the indigenous language of the region, spoken by many older residents, with programs underway to promote its learning and use by children. For thousands of years, the Iñupiaq lived a traditional subsistence lifestyle. Today, many people still subsist but also participate in the modern American economy.
Subsistence hunting, fishing and gathering are fundamental elements of Noorvik’s economy. Local employers include the school district, the City of Noorvik, the tribe – the Native Village of Noorvik, and Maniilaq Association. Employment at the Red Dog Mine, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seasonal fire fighting, or work in Kotzebue also supply income. Several residents commercially fish in the Kotzebue Sound and Kobuk River.
Roads extend throughout the village and a short distance out of town to the airstrip, cemetery, waterfront and solid waste disposal site, including a 7.2 mile road to the gravel resource pit. Scores of trails, concentrated along nearby streams, provide access to hunting and fishing grounds. Villagers commonly travel by all-terrain vehicle and snowmachine.
The Northwest Iñupiat Housing Authority and other local agencies provide housing assistance in the region, in the form of housing loans and rent subsidies to those in need, as well as building and weatherizing homes.
Noorvik Aqqaluk High/Elementary School provides education for about 187 elementary, middle and high school students per year. Built in 1974-75, the Northwest Arctic Borough School District facility has been updated to a modern facility with Internet access and computers in every classroom. Post-secondary education is available in Noorvik via online classes provided by Chukchi Campus, a rural division of the University of Alaska.
Aerial View of Noorvik, Alaska
1. Work on building new homes for our tribal members, and home weatherization, renovations and/or additions.
2. Phase I Water and Sewer Improvements.
3. Upgrade existing and/or procure new heavy equipment for our village and build additional equipment storage – e.g. grader, dump truck, loader, land fill truck, etc..
4. Build and construct new roads within the community and to the following sites – (a) cemetery and grave sites, (b) new clinic and (c) new housing lots in Noorvik.
5. Develop banking services in Noorvik including check cashing (reduce fees), ability to access cash locally, loans, ATM service, and mortgage/commercial banking.
6. Airport terminal to centralize airline ticket purchases, provide a passenger waiting area, and freight storage.
7. Establish a Noorvik Boys and Girls Club with a community recreational center that will also provide more supervised outside recreation activities.
8. Adult vocational training and rehabilitation that includes teaching new technology and computer skills.
9. Alternative energy development and implementation to help produce electricity – e.g. wind generator and solar.
10. Protect and preserve our lands by promoting sustainability,facilitating waterways and eco-systems reclamation, and regulating mining actions with strict regulations.