Wainwright sits on a wave-eroded coastal bluff of a narrow peninsula which separates Wainwright Inlet from the Chukchi Sea. Wainwright is about 70 miles southwest of Utqiaġvik. The inlet was named in 1826 by Captain F.W. Beechey for his officer, Lt. John Wainwright. The present village was established in 1904 when the Alaska Native Service built a school there. At the edge of the sea the Wainwright people refer to themselves as Tagiumiut "People of the Sea." One of several smaller, earlier communities, the current site is called Ulugunik (Olgoonik) from which the village business cooperation takes its name. The community infrastructure of modern day Wainwright includes an elementary and high school complex, power generation plant, water and sewage treatment facilities, a public health clinic, fire station/search and rescue base, police station, a community center, two churches, a community teleconference center, laundromat, post office, a general (co-op) store, a small hotel with a café, and several small shops for crafts, video rentals, pizza and other take-outs. The population of Wainwright is 628 as of 2020. About 94 percent of the residents are Iñupiat (Eskimos). Wainwright has a larger private sector than most villages; 38 percent of the work force is employed by private businesses, primarily the village and regional corporations. The North

Slope Borough employs 30 percent of the work force and the School District provides jobs for another 25 percent. Wainwright’s subsistence hunting revolves primarily around whales and caribou which remain a significant component of the community and household economies. The telecommunications facilities serv ing Wainwright include a fully digital local exchange telephone service, cellular tele phone, Internet, still widely-used citizens band (CB) radio, public safety VHF facilities, cable TV, KBRW public radio broadcast, and the community access public telecon ferencing center. Interconnection with the public, switched telecommunications net work is via satellite circuits, which currently present a bandwidth and high cost limitation to the residents needing access to the Internet and other advanced services dependent on affordable, higher bandwidth. The North Slope Borough, in coordination with the NSB School District, leases private satellite circuits and funds a long-distance network in order to pro vide distance education, telehealth and sup port for governmental service administration in the community. Wainwright is served by scheduled and chartered air service from Utqiaġvik.

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