Noorvik is represented on the NANA Regional Board of Directors by Donald G. Sheldon and  Hendy Ballot, Sr..

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.

Noorvik, which means “a place that is moved to” in Iñupiaq, was settled in the early 1900s, primarily by people from Deering, a village 75 miles away, across the Kotzebue Sound and Aksik, a village located a short distance upriver The Noorvik post office was established in 1937. The city government was incorporated in 1964.

Although Noorvik’s population dropped between1920 through the1930s, the number of residents has been steadily increasing. As of the 2000 census, there were 634 people, 136 households, and 113 families residing in Noorvik. That marked a 14 percent increase from 1990 estimated population of 543 residents. By 2010 the number of residents had increased to 668.

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.

The Native Village of Noorvik is the name of the federally-recognized tribe (IRA) in Noorvik. Noorvik is within the NANA region, as defined by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), and is one of eleven communities that make up the Northwest Arctic Borough.

Noorvik is 15 feet above sea level in a transitional climate zone characterized by long, cold winters and cool summers. The average high temperature in the summer is 59 degrees Fahrenheit. The average winter low is nine degrees below zero. Temperatures of -45 have been recorded. Noorvik averages 106 precipitation days per year, resulting in nearly 10 inches of annual rainfall and more than 50 inches of snow. Temperature variations between night and day are limited year-round, with an average variation of 10 degrees during the summer and 13 degrees in winter. Prevailing winds come from the west in the summer and the northeast in winter, averaging 13 knots. A sloping river bluff dotted with small bushes and trees defines the Noorvik landscape.

Primary modes of transportation to and from Noorvik are barge, plane, small boat and snowmachine. At present, there are no roads linking Noorvik to other communities.

Air – The Robert (Bob) Curtis Memorial Airport is a state-owned public-use airport located one mile north of Noorvik’s central business district. The airport has a single gravel-surface runway that is 4,000 usable feet long and 150 feet wide, with runway lights and navigational aids. Maintained by the Alaska Department of Transportation/PF, the airport is open year-round.

Federal Aviation Administration records show between 6,500 and 6,900 air passengers board planes in Noorvik each year. Two airlines provide scheduled air service to Noorvik: Bering Air and Ea Alaska (formerly Frontier/Hageland). Round-trip tickets from Noorvik to Kotzebue start at $290. Charter companies also fly passengers into Noorvik, including Northwestern Aviation. ATS provides freight, hazmat and other large item freighting.

Land – 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.

Water/Marine – Shallow draft vessels deliver bulk items such as heating fuel and gasoline for the community’s year-round supply.

Water – The Noorvik Water Department pumps water from the Kobuk River to a treatment facility where the water is filtered, chlorinated and fluoridated. Water is distributed throughout Noorvik using a pressurized circulation system.

Sewer – The majority of the more than 100 homes and businesses, along with village school, are connected to a vacuum system that carries waste by air instead of water. The remaining homes are gravity fed. Pumps maintain a constant vacuum that transports wastewater from specially designed toilets and water valves to a 60,000-gallon-tank within a collection and treatment plant at the termination of the sewer mains.

Solid Waste Disposal – Solid waste is collected by the city and deposited in a solid waste disposal area located three miles out from the village.

Public Safety – Noorvik is positioned within the service area of the Division of Alaska State Troopers stationed in Kotzebue, and has a Village Public Safety Office (VPSO) position. A Public Safety Building is the local base for law enforcement. The Noorvik Search & Rescue is mobilized when people become lost or missing in the area, and a volunteer fire battalion responds to emergencies. The City of Noorvik hires two security guards, annually.

Health Services – Maniilaq Association’s Community Health Aide/Practitioner program (CHAP) operates a village health clinic in Noorvik, and the Maniilaq Health Center in Kotzebue, which is the nearest hospital, and the medical hub for the region’s clinics.

Electricity – The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) provides electrical power to Noorvik.

Winter 2012 rates

Residential and small commercial

Larger users

.2203¢/kwh to .6455¢/kwh


*Power Cost Equalization (PCE) helps offset costs to residential users-rates shown here do not include PCE.

Telecommunications – Kotzebue-based OTZ Telephone Cooperative provides a variety of landline, cellular phone and DSL Internet services to Noorvik residents and businesses.

Telephone service Residential Business
Basic local service (single landline)  - Includes taxes, fees. Additional charges for optional features Access Line/Residential: $16.55
Federally Mandated Per Access Line: $6.50
Inside Wire Charge: $1.60
Universal Single Line: $0.01
Federal Tax: 3%
Business Phone (Access) Line: $24.50
Federally Mandated Per Access Line: $9.20
Inside Wire Charge: $2.25
Universal Single Line: $0.20
Local Tax: 6%
Federal Tax: 3%
Long distance $.07/minute + $5 monthly fee $.09/minute no monthly charge
Cellular phone service Starts at $19.95 for 200 Alaska minutes + $35 activation fee. (GCI cellular service is also available.)
Internet 64/ 64 Kbps Internet Service Plan
$25.00/ mo
512/ 64 Kbps Internet Service Plan
*Internet service discounts are provided to customers with OTZ long distance and/or cellular phone plans.

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.

Noorvik is within the KOTZ radio listening area, and the Arctic Sounder newspaper coverage area. Television service is individually owned satellites and a free Ratnet state-wide service.

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.

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.

# Residences/ # Occupied

122 /106

Owner-occupied residences


Renter-occupied residences*


* Monthly rents in Noorvik paid in 2007 varied from $100.00 to $1249.00.


Estimated median house value