Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Iñupiaq Perspectives on the Dalton Highway and Prudhoe Bay

Prior to the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay and construction of the Dalton Highway and Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Iñupiat families lived in a variety of camps and settlements along the Beaufort Sea coastline and inland rivers, such as the Sagavanirktok, Savviuġvik, Kuparuk and Qalġusiḷik. The region provided fertile hunting, fishing and trapping grounds. Often, the stories of these first residents have been left out of discussions about Prudhoe Bay, the road and pipeline corridor, and the northern slopes of the Brooks Range. Narratives from elders talking about their experiences in this area and observations on oil development can be found in Qiñiqtuagaksrat Utuqqanaat Iñuuniagninisiqun, The Traditional Land Use Inventory of the Mid-Beaufort Sea, published by the North Slope Borough Commission on History and Culture, Barrow Alaska, 1980.

Click on a person's name to see their written story from this book:

George and Nora Agiak

Jennie Ahkivgak

Horace Ahsogeak

Mary P. Akootchook

Etta Ekolook

Roxy Ekowana

Elijah Kakinya

Sarah and Samuel Kunaknana

Andrew Oenga

Wilson Soplu

Abraham and Joeb Woods