in the Bethel Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (noo' tock)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Geography and Climate
- Newtok is on the Ninglick River north of Nelson Island in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region. It is 94 miles northwest of Bethel.
- Newtok is located in a marine climate. Average annual precipitation is 17 inches, with 22 inches of snowfall. Summer temperatures range from 42 to 59 °F, and winter temperatures average 2 to 19 °F.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- The people of Newtok share a heritage with Nelson Island communities; their ancestors have lived on the Bering Sea coast for at least 2,000 years. The people from the five villages are known as Qaluyaarmiut or "dip net people." Only intermittent outside contact occurred until the 1920s. In the 1950s, the Territorial Guard found volunteers from Newtok while they were traveling to Bethel. Tuberculosis was a major health problem during this period. In the late 1950s, the village was relocated from Old Kealavik ten miles away to its present location to escape flooding. A school was built in 1958, although high school students were required to travel to Bethel, St. Mary's, Sitka, or Anchorage for their education. This was often their first exposure to the outside, and students returned with a good knowledge of the English language and culture. A high school was constructed in Newtok in the 1980s. The city was incorporated in 1976, but it was dissolved on January 28, 1997. Due to severe erosion, the village wants to relocate to a new site called Taqikcaq, approximately 5 miles away on Nelson Island. In November 2003, the 108th Congress passed S. 924, allowing the village to relocate to Nelson Island. The legislation authorizes an exchange of lands between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Newtok Native Corporation to allow villagers to relocate.
- Newtok is a traditional Yup'ik Eskimo village, with an active subsistence lifestyle. Relative isolation from outside influences has enabled the area to retain its traditions and customs, more so than other parts of Alaska.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Newtok Village
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale and importation of alcohol.
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Newtok is not connected to the rest of Alaska by road, and is primarily accessible by air or water. A state-owned gravel airstrip provides air access. A seaplane base is also available. Boats, skiffs, and snowmobiles are used for local transportation and subsistence activities. Winter snowmobile trails are marked to nearby villages of Chevak, Tununak, Toksook Bay, Nightmute, and Manaryarapiaq. Barges deliver cargo to Newtok during ice-free summer months.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District