Kotzebue – Qikiqtaǵruk

Kotzebue, or Qikiqtaǵruk, is a city in the Northwest Arctic Borough and gateway to the Arctic that has been home to the Iñupiat people for 10,000 years.

The Iñupiat (the real people) have close ties to the land and each other. Cultural values were developed and sculpted by the unforgiving climate of the Arctic. For centuries, the Iñupiat have relied on hunting and fishing. These values continue to serve both the physical and spiritual needs of our people.

Qikiqtaǵruk was the hub of ancient Arctic trading routes long before European contact due to its coastal location near a number of rivers. The community was later named after German Lt. Otto Von Kotzebue who sailed through the region for Russia in 1899. Since the turn of the century, the expansion of economic activities and services in the area enabled Kotzebue to develop relatively rapidly.

Today, the region continues to be inhabited by the Iñupiat. This is our home. We continue to have a deep spiritual connection to the land and all it provides.

Where’s Kotzebue?

  • Home to the Iñupiat
  • 33 miles north of the Arctic Circle
  • 549 air miles from Anchorage