Nunam Iqua, Sheldon Point

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Nunam Iqua, Sheldon Point

by | Jan 13, 2021

Nunam Iqua is a small community on Sheldon Point, located on the left bank of Kwemeluk Pass in the Yukon River delta, about 157 miles (253 km) northwest of Bethel and 12.4 miles (20 km) south-southwest of Alakanuk, Alaska. Nunam Iqua is a Yup’ik name meaning “end of the tundra” or “land’s end”.

The community was originally called Sheldon Point, after the first permanent resident, a White man named Sheldon who established a small store at the site of the present community. Sheldon also owned and operated a fish saltery at the site in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The saltery was later operated by Northern Commercial Company. In 1964, the Bureau of Indian Affairs built a school and in 1974, the community was incorporated under the name Sheldon Point. The name was changed to Nunam Iqua in November 1999. The village is supported primarily by commercial fishing and subsistence activities.

Yup’ik people were historically very mobile, following the migration and seasonal availability of food and subsistence resources. The present site of Nunam Iqua was historically the site of summer fish camps. Traditional subsistence fishing activities continue to be a primary source of food. Limited employment is provided by commercial fishing for salmon, and freshwater fisheries may target species such as Arctic char, pike, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden char, and sheefish. Read more here and here. Explore more of Nunam Iqua here:

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