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Savoonga is located on the northern coast of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, 164 miles west of Nome. It lies 39 miles southeast of Gambell. Summer temperatures average 40 to 51 °F while winter temperatures range from -7 to 11 °F. Average precipitation is 10 inches annually, with 58 inches of snowfall. Freeze-up on the Bering Sea occurs in mid-November, with break-up in late May.

St. Lawrence has been inhabited intermittently for the past 2,000 years by both Alaskan and Siberian Yup'ik Eskimos. The island had numerous villages with a total population of around 4,000 by the 19th century. The city was incorporated in 1969. When the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was passed in 1971, Gambell and Savoonga decided not to participate, and instead opted for title to the 1.136 million acres of land in the former St. Lawrence Island reserve. Savoonga and Gambell jointly own the Island. Alaska Natives represent over 95% of the population. It is a traditional Eskimo village with a subsistence lifestyle surrounding walrus and whale hunting. Savoonga is hailed as the "Walrus Capitol of the World.".

The economy of Savoonga is largely based on subsistence hunting of walrus, seal, fish, and bowhead whales, with some cash income. Reindeer harvests occur, but the herd is not formally managed. Islanders are known for their quality ivory carvings.

Ackerman, Robert E. 1976. The Eskimo People of Savoonga. Phoenix, AZ : Indian Tribal Series.

Apassingok, Anders. 1985. Sivuqam nangaghnegha: siivanllemta ungipaqellghat. Unalakleet, AK: Bering Strait School District.

Braund, Stephen R. 1988. The Skin Boats of Saint Lawrence Island, Alaska. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.

Grotbo, John A. 1977. Savoonga: Its History, Population and Economy. Billings, MT: United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Planning Support Group. Report - United States Department of the Interior, Planning Support Group no. 242.

Jolles, Carol Zane. 1990. Being Yup'ik, Being Christian: Ethnicity and Christianity in Sivuqaq. Thesis (Ph. D.) - University of Washington.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. 1990 1999. Eskimo Songs from Alaska. [Washington, D.C.]; 1 sound disc (43 min., 50 sec.). Language: Yupik languages; Sung in Eskimo. Custom compact disc series Standard No: Publisher: F-4069; Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings; FE 4069.

Wibberley, Stephen. 1969. When Savoonga Began. Savoonga, AK: Bureau of Indian Affairs.

From the National Weather service

Sea Ice:
Current Conditions
30 - Day Forecast
Sea Ice conditions for AK, images from the last 14 days
Clickable sea ice map from NOAA
Sea Ice forecast models for AK - 1 through 6 day forecasts

Kawerak, Inc. Savoonga village site
Community photos
Information about Savoonga from
The history of Savoonga from

Hogarth Kingeekuk, Sr. Memorial School