1st Class City
in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (tan' uh naw)
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
- Fort Gibbon
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Landfill, Airport Maintenance (state contract), River Dock, Police, Volunteer Fire/EMS/Ambulance, Fire Station, City School, Gravel Sales, Roads, Maintenance & Streetlights, Equipment Rental and Sales, Teacher Housing, Beverage Control/Liqour Sales, Incarceration Facility, Public Safety Housing, City Shop/Mechanical Work, Construction/Rehbilitation, New Road Construction, Biomass Installation, Process Fire Wood, Office Rental, ANP, Local Financial Contributions.
Geography and Climate
- Tanana is located in Interior Alaska about two miles west of the junction of the Tanana and Yukon Rivers, 130 air miles west of Fairbanks.
- Tanana experiences a cold, continental climate with temperature extremes. Daily maximum temperatures during July range from 64 to 70 °F; daily minimum temperatures during January are -14 to -48 °F. Extremes have been measured from -71 to 94 °F. Average annual precipitation is 13 inches, with 50 inches of snowfall. The river is ice-free from mid-May through mid-October.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Due to its location at the confluence of the Tanana and Yukon Rivers, Tanana was a traditional trading settlement for Koyukon and Tanana Athabascans long before European contact. In 1880, Harper's Station, an Alaska Commercial Company trading post, was established 13 miles downriver from the present site. In 1881 Church of England missionaries from Canada built a mission 8 miles downriver. Between 1887 and 1900, an elaborate school and hospital complex, the St. James Mission, was constructed. It became an important source of services and social change along both rivers. In 1898 Fort Gibbon was founded at Tanana to maintain the telegraph line between Fairbanks and Nome. A post office was also established, and several other trading posts developed around the turn of the century. Gold seekers left the Yukon after 1906. Ft. Gibbon was abandoned in 1923. The St. James Hospital was transferred to BIA administration in the 1920s. During World War II, an air base was established near Tanana as a refueling stop for the lend-lease aircraft program. New hospital facilities were built in 1949. During the 1950s, hospital administration was transferred to the U.S. Public Health Service. The City of Tanana was incorporated in 1961. The hospital complex was a major employer during this period, employing 54 persons with a payroll of $1.6 million, but it closed in 1982. That same year, Tanana incorporated as a first-class city in order to assume control of the local school system. The hospital facilities were remodeled for use as a health clinic, counseling center, tribal office, and regional elders' residence.
- Traditional Athabascan ways of life persist -- subsistence, potlatches, dances, and foot races are part of the culture.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Tanana
- Local Option Restrictions
- Sale by municipality operated license only: Package Store and Beverage Dispensary Only
- Incorporation Type
- 1st Class City
- Public Education
- Must provide the service in accordance with AS 14.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Must exercise the powers in accordance with AS 29.40.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 30 mills, except where a higher levy is necessary to avoid default on debt. Voter approval is not required under State law; however, stricter limitations can be imposed at the local level.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes, but voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 6 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected at large for a 3-year term, unless a different term not to exceed 4 years is provided by ordinance.
- Vote by Mayor
- May vote to break a tie vote on the city council.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Has veto power, except veto is not permitted of ordinance prohibiting posession of alcohol.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted by statute.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- Voters may adopt home-rule charter.
- Tanana is located in Interior Alaska about two miles west of the junction of the Tanana and Yukon Rivers. The community lies 130 air miles west of Fairbanks. Tanana is accessible only by air and river transportation. The city maintains 32 miles of local roads. Work began on a new road from Manley Hot Springs to Tanana in the fall of 2013. The city operates a dock on the river; barged goods can be offloaded at a staging and storage area. The state owns and operates the Ralph M. Calhoun Memorial Airport, which has a lighted, gravel runway. Float planes land on the Yukon River. Cars, trucks, snow machines, ATVs, and riverboats are used for local transportation. Groceries and other small items are shipped to the village by air, or by barge during the barging season from May to September.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection