The community of Atqasuk lies on the north flowing Meade River about 60 miles southwest of Utqiaġvik. It is part of a region of many historic fishing and hunting camps that are located on the coastal plain along the Meade, Chipp and Ikpikpuk Rivers. Atqasuk is one of two "inland" villages on the North Slope, (the other being Anaktuvuk Pass in the Brooks Range mountains). The subsistence activities of both these communities are focused more on the land and river resources than the coastal and ocean harvests. In addition to the harvesting of caribou, fishing for grayling, lingcod and several varieties of whitefish help meet the food requirements of the village. Many Atqasuk residents return to the Utqiaġvik area for sea mammal hunting, and the area between Atqasuk and Utqiaġvik is used by both communities for fishing, hunting for waterfowl and caribou, and trapping furbearing animals. In addition to biological resources, Atqasuk is the location of a coal mine that produced and freighted this fuel to Utqiaġvik during the 1940’s. Natural outcroppings of coal had been used for centuries by the Iñupiat family groups along the Meade River, but the growth of Utqiaġvik created a commercial market for the resource. The small community was called Meade River Village at that time; however, the population dwindled rapidly with the discovery and distribution of natural gas to Utqiaġvik in the 1960’s. The establishment of regional autonomy through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the formation of the North

Slope Borough enabled former "Meade River families" to re-establish the village in the 1970’s under the present name, Atqasuk. In 2020, there were 276 people living in Atqasuk. Approximately 91 percent of the population is Iñupiat ("Eskimo") and the village economy is largely based on subsistence hunting of caribou and river fishing. In the "cash economy," the private sector employs about 43 percent of the workforce; the North Slope Borough employs about 28 percent; and the NSB School District 28 percent. Residents also produce arts and crafts for sale including masks, mittens, dolls, yo-yos, ulus and parkas. In addition to its modern homes, public utility facilities, and school, the telecommunications needs of Atqasuk are met with a fully digital local telephone system, cellular telephone, Internet, a community teleconference center, cable television, public radio broadcast, an interactive distance education system, a regional wide-area data network, and several two-way radio technologies. Interconnection with the regional and global networks is by satellite. A scheduled airline and air taxi service from Utqiaġvik provides passenger and cargo service to Atqasuk.

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