by / Sunday, 23 November 2014 / Published in

Kiana is located on the north bank of the Kobuk River, 57 air miles east of Kotzebue. Kiana means “a place where three rivers meet.” It was established long ago as the central village of the Kobuk River Kowagmiut Inupiat Eskimos. In 1909, it became a supply center for the Squirrel River placer mines. A post office was established in 1915. The City government was incorporated in 1964. Prior to the formation of the Northwest Arctic Borough in 1976, the BIA high school taught students from Noatak, Shungnak and Ambler, who boarded with local residents. Kiana is a traditional Inupiat Eskimo village practicing a subsistence lifestyle. The sale or importation of alcohol is banned in the village. Boats, ATVs and snowmachines are used extensively for local travel, and there are many trucks. A road extends along the river to Kobuk Camp, and a network of old trading trails exists.  Thanks to funding received from the Denali Commission, a new bulk fuel tank farm was built.

Kiana New Tank Farm

New bulk fuel tank farm


Kiana Tank Farm Before

Old tank farm, before being upgraded

Kiana ViewScenic view from within the community