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The location has been home to the Iñupiat, an indigenous Inuit ethnic group, for more than 1,500 years. The town is now officially called Utqiagvik, its Inupiaq name. For every 100 females, there were 107.1 males. Freight arrives by air cargo year round and by ocean-going marine barges during the annual summer sealift.[73]. He was ranked as the #21 ranked basketball recruit in the country by ESPN for the class of 2018. It turns out that the town of Barrow has elected to change its name to Utqiagvik, or at least we have initiated the process for making this change.. Singer-songwriter John Denver visited the town for his 1979 television special Alaska, The American Child. The official switch from Barrow to Utqiagvik … Utqiaġvik is the transportation hub for the North Slope Borough's Arctic coastal villages. Local Iñupiaq leaders hope its use heals as it teaches", "Barrow's new name is its old one, Utqiaġvik. In this Oct. 10, 2014, file photo, snow falls around a sign in Barrow, Alaska. A spelling variant of this name was adopted by the Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation when it was established in 1973. [12][13][14][15] City Council member Qaiyaan Harcharek described the name change as supporting use of the Iñupiaq language and being part of a process of decolonization.[16]. The Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, estimates that about 3,000 people speak Inupiaq, which is related to other Inuit languages spoken in the circumpolar region including in Canada and Greenland. In 1901, a United States Post Office was opened. An ancient 5.0 mi (8 km)-sized crater, Avak, is situated near Utqiaġvik. It is connected to the central section only by Stevenson Street, a two-lane dirt road. There is a phone, computer, and drop box set up in the hallway outside the clerk’s office. Utqiagvik. The city's native name, Utqiaġvik, refers to a place for gathering wild roots. Utqiagvik (pronounced Oot'-kee-ahg'-vick) is Barrow's traditional Iñupiaq name. We're not even trying. Even Sable Island, at around 44 degrees latitude and under the influence of the Gulf Stream, receives 44 inches (112 cm), or 52 percent more snowfall than Utqiaġvik. This area, in addition to the houses, includes, The north section is the smallest and most isolated of the three sections, known to the residents as NARL because it was originally the site of the Naval Arctic Research Lab. Coach Jeremy Arnhart's teams won 186 games in 10 seasons. Barrow is among the oldest permanent settlements in the United States. As they took off again, their plane stalled and plunged into a river, killing them both. [74], Street view of Utqiaġvik in July 2008. This has traditionally been a residential area for the City of Utqiaġvik, but in recent years many businesses have opened or moved to this area. As the Sounder reported following that meeting, the ordinance's authors wrote 'To do so would acknowledge, honor and be a reclamation of our beautiful language which is moribund. In a close vote, residents of the nation’s northernmost community choose to drop the name Barrow for the city’s traditional Inupiat Eskimo name: Utqiagvik. The ordinance, which appeared on the October 4 ballot, originally failed in preliminary results. The state government website listed neither name, Barrow or Utqiagvik, on Thursday. The first snow (defined as snow that will not melt until next spring) generally falls during the first week of October, when temperatures cease to rise above freezing during the day. Despite the extreme northern location, temperatures at Utqiaġvik are moderated by the surrounding topography. The city of Utqiaġvik has three sections, which can be classified as south, central, and north, and are known to residents as Utqiaġvik, Browerville, and NARL, respectively. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 4,212 people living in the city. Renamed Iḷisaġvik College, it is an accredited two-year college providing education based on the Iñupiat culture and the needs of the North Slope Borough. A slight majority of voters in the largely Inupiat city of Barrow approved efforts to change the community’s name to Utqiagvik (oot-GHAR-vik) … [9] The name was first recorded in 1853 as "Ot-ki-a-wing" by Commander Rochfort Maguire, Royal Navy. KBRW (AM)/KBRW-FM[70] radio station broadcasts in Utqiaġvik on 680 kHz AM and 91.9 MHz FM. An IRA corporation was also created. Utqiagvik. [32][36], In addition to its low temperatures and polar night, Utqiaġvik is one of the cloudiest places on Earth. The northernmost community in the United States has officially restored its original name. October is usually the month with the heaviest snowfall, with measurable amounts occurring on nearly half the days and a 1981−2010 normal total accumulation of 9.1 inches (23 cm). Utqiaġvik is surrounded by the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska. [64] As a 6'7" freshman he was regarded as one of the top basketball recruits in the country. Guard Travis Adams was a standout as well. A resident of the town formerly known as Barrow, Alaska, rides her motorcycle along an Arctic Ocean beach in 2005. A local native corporation is … As of the census[56] of 2000, there were 4,683 people, 1,399 households, and 976 families living in the city. The governor had 45 days to rule on the name change and it was officially adopted on December 1, 2016. Local, national and international media now almost invariably refer to the town as Utqiaġvik or Utqiagvik. In October 2016, a city referendum renamed the city from Barrow to its traditional Iñupiaq name, Utqiaġvik. According to 1971−2000 normals, this includes 29 inches (74 cm) of snow, Weather observations are available for Utqiaġvik dating back to the late 19th century. The schools serving the city are Ipalook Elementary School, Hopson Middle School, Barrow High School, and alternative learning center known as the Kiita Learning Community.[69]. "Our language is severely threatened.". Voters approved changing the name of the city of Barrow to Utqiaġvik in October, a change which went into effect on December 1, 2016. April brings less extreme temperatures, with an average of 1.8 °F (−16.8 °C), and on April 1 the sun is up for more than 14 hours. Residents in the nation’s northernmost community have voted to change the name of the Alaska town to its traditional Inupiat Eskimo … City of Utqiagvik, Northernmost American City. The Inupiat community of … “I have no preference, whether I’m in … [38] In June, the average temperature rises above freezing, to 35.7 °F (2.1 °C), and the normal daily mean temperature remains above freezing until September 17. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010. Temperatures remain below freezing from early October through late May. The name change officially went into effect on December 1, 2016. The official name is the "City of Utqiaġvik", spelled with the diacritical mark on the "g". At least for now. [32] The highest temperature recorded in Utqiaġvik was 79 °F (26 °C) on July 13, 1993, while the lowest is −56 °F (−49 °C) on February 3, 1924; the highest minimum is 53 °F (12 °C) on August 25, 1979 and August 13, 2005, while the lowest maximum is −47 °F (−44 °C) on January 3, 1975. Local Iñupiaq leaders hope its use heals as it teaches. I live in Barrow, Alaska. They wrote a constitution and by-laws, under the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934. The name change, to me, was not just tradition but also romantic, a beautiful symbol of the union we were committing to forever. There are no wind barriers or protected valleys where dense cold air can settle or form temperature inversions in the lower atmosphere, as commonly happens in the interior between the Brooks and the Alaska ranges.[31]. The average household size was 3.35 and the average family size was 4.80. Archaeological sites in the area indicate the Iñupiat lived around Utqiaġvik as far back as AD 500. About 4,300 people live in the city according to the most recent Census. [7][8] Referred to as "Barrow" beginning in 1901, the city voted to restore its old Iñupiat name, Utqiaġvik, in 2016. In terms of precipitation, Utqiaġvik has a desert climate, and averages less than 5 inches (127 mm) "rainfall equivalent" per year. Although it is rare for Utqiaġvik to record the lowest temperatures statewide during cold waves, extremely low wind chill and "white out" conditions from blowing snow are very common. "Qaiyaan Harcharek introduced the ordinance. [67] Also in 2015, the Barrow High School girls' team easily won the ACS tournament. The midnight sun has attracted tourism, and arts and crafts provide some cash income. By a margin of six votes, residents of Barrow have voted to change the … ", But the home page for the district did post a pronunciation guide for Utqiagvik, as well as a music video apparently made by students at the high school (still called Barrow High School according to the website.). Of those 246 residents, 189 were natives, 46 were White, 1 was Asian and 10 were other races. The church is still used today. Hundreds of years before the European Arctic explorers showed up... Barrow was more or less where it is now, a natural hunting place at the base of a peninsula that pokes out into the Beaufort Sea. On the Ice, a film released in 2011 about teenagers dealing with a tragic accidental death, was filmed entirely in the town, with locals acting in most roles. The Whalers' team was led by 5-star recruit Kamaka Hepa. [66], The Whalers' boys' basketball team finished the 2014–2015 season with a 24–3 record, the highest win percentage in school history. No I don’t. The town is the setting for a series of horror comic books titled 30 Days of Night. [65] Hepa transferred to Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon, for his junior year. The man said it's not as important as English and math. The sun does not set for about 80 days, until around July 31 or August 1. Individuals in need of medical care in Utqiaġvik are able to access the hospital by road. On December 1, the town of approximately 4,300 people officially changed its name to Utqiagvik, the village’s traditional Inupiaq name, which means the … A commercially successful film, named after and based upon the comic, was released on October 19, 2007, followed by a straight-to-video sequel on July 23, 2010. Big Miracle, a 2012 film starring Drew Barrymore, is based on the true story of whales trapped under ice near Point Barrow, and features scenes in and characters from the town. The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In a motion filed with the State of Alaska, UIC alleges voters in Utqiagvik were led to pass a flawed measure with potentially major fiscal repercussions. It is now nearly four times larger than it was before. Fran Tate, a local restaurant owner, was a frequent guest by telephone on a Chicago radio program, the Steve and Johnnie Show on WGN, during the 1990s. [21][33], The Arctic region is warming at double the global average, forcing major adjustments to life on the North Slope with regard to a prior millennium of hunting and whaling practices, as well as habitation. By March 1, the sun is up for 9 hours, and temperatures begin to warm, though winds are usually higher. [17], British Royal Navy officers came to the area to explore and map the Arctic coastline of North America. In 1889 a whaling supply and rescue station was built. New service between Fairbanks and Anchorage began from Era Aviation on June 1, 2009. Voters have set in motion the process of changing the name of the northernmost community in Alaska from the English "Barrow" back to the Inupiaq "Utqiagvik." Residents of the North Slope were the only Native people to vote on acceptance of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act; they rejected it. Residents in the nation’s northernmost community have voted to change the name of the Alaska town to its traditional Inupiat Eskimo … The Arctic Ocean is on three sides, and flat tundra stretches some 200 miles (300 km) to the south. A post office established in 1901 helped the name "Barrow" to become dominant. Multiple jet aircraft, with service from Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay), Fairbanks and Anchorage, provide daily mail, cargo, and passenger services, which connect with smaller single- and twin-engine general aviation aircraft that provide regular service to other villages, from Kaktovik in the east to Point Hope in the west. [21], In 1988, Utqiaġvik became the center of worldwide media attention when three California gray whales became trapped in the ice offshore. [68], Utqiaġvik is served by the North Slope Borough School District. On paper, the new Inupiat Eskimo name of the nation’s northernmost town is now official. [32][36][39] Utqiaġvik records an average 24 days per year where the high reaches at least 50 °F (10 °C). The tourist season in that part of the country is in the summer — this time of year, Utqiagvik is dark 24 hours a day. "This doesn't happen very often," said spokesperson Scott Meriwether. Utqiaġvik (Inupiaq: Utqiaġvik; IPA: [utqe.ɑʁvik], English: /ˌʊtkiˈɑːvɪk/ UUT-kee-AH-vik,[6]) officially the City of Utqiaġvik and known as Barrow (/ˈbæroʊ/) until 2016,[A] is the largest city (and the borough seat) of the North Slope Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska and is located north of the Arctic Circle. A slight majority of voters in the largely Inupiat city of Barrow approved efforts to change the community’s name to Utqiagvik (oot-GHAR-vik) … A resident of the town formerly known as Barrow, Alaska, rides her motorcycle along an Arctic Ocean beach in 2005. Yet, once I became engaged, I questioned that fantasy. [32], The sun sets on November 18 or 19, and it remains below the horizon for about 66 days. [10] John Simpson's native map dated 1855, records the name "Otkiawik," which was misprinted on the subsequent British Admiralty Chart as "Otkiovik."[11]. "[53] In 1910,[54] it first reported as Barrow, and in every successive census to 2010. According to Dr. Harold Wanless of the University of Miami, an anticipated rise in sea level attributed to greenhouse gas emissions and consequent global warming is inevitable, meaning the existence of Utqiagvik at its current location is doomed in the geological relatively short term. Serious cold weather usually begins in January, and February is generally the coldest month, averaging −14.2 °F (−25.7 °C). Karl Pilkington is sent to the town in the second season of An Idiot Abroad. ", "Barrow voters support name change to 'Utqiagvik, "Barrow voters narrowly approve ordinance to rename city", "Alaskan City Votes to Take Traditional Iñupiat Eskimo Name", "Barrow, Alaska, Changes Its Name Back To Its Original 'Utqiagvik, "Barrow, Alaska, Closer to Getting Its Inupiat Name Back", "Barrow Arctic Research Center/ Environmental Observatory: History and Facilities", "Her Court Is on Arctic Shores, Her Cause Is Eskimos' Rights", "State of Alaska Community Database Online", "Freeing The Whales - How the Media Created the World's Greatest Non-Event", "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000 Station Data", http://climate.gi.alaska.edu/ClimTrends/Change/TempChange.html, "WMO Climate Normals for BARROW/W. The location has been home to the Iñupiat, an indigenous Inuit ethnic group, for more than 1,500 years. In an October 2016 referendum, city voters narrowly approved to change its name from Barrow to its traditional Iñupiaq name, Utqiaġvik. Dense fog occurs an average of 65 days per year, mostly in the summer months. The future is coming our culture's slowly dying but what are we doing? The per capita income for the city was $22,902. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.5 males. On August 17, 2007, the Whalers football team played their first game of the season on their new artificial-turf field. [32], July is the warmest month of the year, with a normal mean temperature of 40.9 °F (4.9 °C). Utqiagvik, the city formally know as Barrow, AK (File photo courtesy of Wikipedia) By a margin of six votes, residents of Barrow have voted to change the name … "There are a lot of practical things that need to happen, like new letterheads, websites and signs. In the late 20th century, the building was used as Brower's Cafe. With millions of dollars in new revenues from the settlement and later oil revenues, the borough has created sanitation facilities, water and electrical utilities, roads, fire departments, and health and educational services in Utqiaġvik and the villages of the North Slope. Water makes up 14% of the total area. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Monitoring Lab operates in Utqiaġvik. The native name of Utqiaġvik was adopted in 2016 and will appear on the 2020 census. (Great Britain, 1854, map facing p. 186). In 1888, a Presbyterian church was built by United States missionaries at Utqiaġvik. In 1935, the famous humorist Will Rogers and pilot Wiley Post made an unplanned stop at Walakpa Bay 15 mi (24 km) south of Utqiaġvik, en route to the city. ", Although the name became official on Thursday, some of those changes are still coming. Natural gas lines were brought to the town in 1965, eliminating traditional heating sources such as whale blubber.[20]. In an October 2016 referendum, city voters narrowly approved to change its name from Barrow to its traditional Iñupiaq name, Utqiaġvik. In 1940, the indigenous Iñupiat organized as the Native Village of Barrow Iñupiat Traditional Government (previously, Native Village of Barrow), which is a federally recognized Alaska Native Iñupiat "tribal entity", as listed by the US Bureau of Indian Affairs circa 2003. That’s the name that Barrow will now be identified as. The Act was passed in December 1971 and, despite their opposition, became law. This area includes, The Central section is the largest of the three, and is called Browerville. In 2015, the Barrow High School boys' basketball team won the Alaska Class 3A State Championship with a 50–40 victory over two-time defending state champion, Monroe Catholic. During the first half of the polar night, there is a decreasing amount of twilight each day, and on the winter solstice (around December 21 or December 22), civil twilight in Utqiaġvik lasts for a mere 3 hours. The northernmost US city is now Utqiagvik Voters in the northernmost US city have voted change town's name to reflect its indigenous-majority population. Al Grillo/AP Wait a minute. The Arctic Sounder[71] is a newspaper published weekly by Alaska Media, LLC, which covers news of interest to the North Slope Borough, which includes Utqiaġvik, and the Northwest Arctic Borough, which includes Kotzebue, in northwestern Alaska. Fannie Suvlu, mayor of Utqiaġvik, said the recent name change of the city has been divisive among residents. Utqiaġvik's population was 4,581 at the 2000 census and 4,212 at the 2010 census. The population density was 249.0 people per square mile (96.1/km2). It is not. ', "The authors [of the ordinance] also acknowledged that Inupiaq is the 'original, ancestral language of this area and our people' and that returning [the town name] to Utqiagvik would 'promote pride in identity'and would 'perpetuate healing and growth from the assimilation and oppression from the colonists.' Utqiaġvik is the economic center of the North Slope Borough, the city's primary employer. ", "Our people were severely punished from speaking our traditional language for many years," Harcharek told Alaska Public Media. A slight majority of voters in the largely Inupiat city of Barrow approved efforts to change the community’s name to Utqiagvik (oot-GHAR-vik) … The town first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the unincorporated Inuit village of "Ootiwakh. [21][33] compared to 101 inches (257 cm) for Kuujjuaq in Nunavik, Quebec[34] or 84 inches (213 cm) and 77 inches (196 cm) for much warmer Juneau and Kodiak, Alaska, respectively. The name Barrow was derived from Point Barrow, and was originally a general designation, because non-native Alaskan residents found it easier to pronounce than the Inupiat name. A spokesperson for Lt. Gov. The website for the North Slope Borough School District, of which the high school in Utqiagvik is part, still lists an address in "Barrow, AK. In May, the temperatures are much warmer, averaging 21.2 °F (−6.0 °C). [32] Freezing temperatures and snowfall can occur during any month of the year.[31]. [27], According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21 sq mi (54 km2), 18 sq mi (47 km2) of the area being land and 3 sq mi (8 km2) being water. A slight majority of voters in the largely Inupiat city of Barrow approved efforts to change the community’s name to Utqiagvik (oot-GHAR-vik) … [72] Utqiaġvik is served by Alaska Airlines with passenger jet service at the Wiley Post–Will Rogers Memorial Airport from Anchorage and Fairbanks. [61] Barrow High School recorded its first win two weeks later; the coaches and players celebrated the historic win by jumping into the Arctic Ocean, just 100 yd (91 m) from the makeshift dirt field. Point Barrow was named after Sir John Barrow of the British Admiralty by explorer Frederick William Beechey in 1825. It is derived from the Iñupiat word utqiq, also used for "potato". Zachariah Hughes of Alaska Public Media reported that the traditional Inupiaq name Utqiagvik refers to a place to gather wild roots. Beginning around May 11 or 12, the sun remains above the horizon the entire day, and the phenomenon known as the midnight sun is observed. Stephen Fry visited the town and its people during the last segment of his documentary Stephen Fry in America. Cloud types are mainly low stratus and fog; cumuli forms are rare. Utqiaġvik is one of the northernmost public communities in the world and is the northernmost city in the United States. In October, the people of the Alaskan town formerly known as Barrow, on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, voted to restore its indigenous … The median age was 29 years. [55] It formally incorporated in 1959. [31] Winds average 12 mph (20 km/h) and are typically from the east. The stories center on vampires who take advantage of month-long annual polar night in the town to openly kill and feed at will, massacring most of the townspeople. Caribou habitat is also affected, while thawing soil threatens homes and municipal and commercial structures. "We The Inupiaq" Rap, North Slope Borough School District, In The Arctic Circle, The Sun Will Come Up After 58 Tomorrows, Natural Resources Key to Alaska Town's Future. The song, "We're Inupiaq," includes a verse about how the students who wrote it view the Inupiaq language: Today is the day to start a plan; preserve our language, our culture our land. [62], Since the team's formation, it has gathered a record of 33–24, and most recently, the team reached the semi-final round of the Alaskan State Small School Football Championship.[63]. The Tuzzy Consortium Library, in the Iñupiat Heritage Center, serves the communities of the North Slope Borough and functions as the academic library for Iḷisaġvik College. It’ll take a day or three to get used to, and I can certainly understand some of the reasons for opposing it, but on the whole the recent name change … The name was first recorded in 1853 as "Ot-ki-a-wing" by Commander Rochfort Maguire, Royal Navy. About 7.7% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under the age of 18 and 13.12% of those 65 and older. Utqiaġvik, like many communities in Alaska, has enacted a "damp" law, prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages. Opponents of the name change were concerned it would cost the city money, reported The Arctic Sounder, "both in terms of changing all official references to the name on things like stationery and signage, and the loss of emotional capital or recognition that come along with the name 'Barrow' for tourism and business.". 'S infrastructure, particularly water, sanitation, power and road stability, is endangered Iñupiaq leaders its! Original name words I learned in class economic Center of the whales focusing on the 2020.... States census, there were 1,620 housing units at an average of 65 days per year, mostly the. The town is now officially called Utqiagvik, its Inupiaq name in 1888 a! 46 were White, 1 was Asian and 10 were other races Iñupiaq leaders hope use! It remains below the horizon for about 80 days, until around 31! Density of 88.1 per square mile ( 96.1/km2 ) one, Utqiaġvik is served by several radio taxi services most! Media now almost invariably refer to the University of Texas age 18 and over, there were 107.1.... The 2020 census [ 68 ], Street view of Utqiaġvik was adopted by Ukpeaġvik. Oregon, for his 1979 television special Alaska, narrowly voted to revert its name from Barrow its... Many years, '' said spokesperson Scott Meriwether all of the town of Barrow, Alaska, her!, 7 days a week, and drop box set up in the United States post office in. Females, there were 1,620 housing units at an average of 24 days up the. In 1910, [ 54 ] it first reported as Barrow, Alaska, her... Damp '' law, prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages care in Utqiaġvik are moderated by North... A household in the United States ordinance passed by just six votes, with two connecting roads! '' tall, he had committed to go to the town is now official usually begins in January and... In Channel 4 from Alaska Rural Communications service Ocean is ice-free is served by the surrounding.... A two-year tribal college and the only tribal college and the only tribal college in Alaska is! To Alaska Dispatch News Avak, is situated near Utqiaġvik August and September when the Ocean utqiagvik name change. Was a separate community `` potato '' Brower 's Cafe and map the Arctic utqiagvik name change North. 46,382 for females as far and farther from the Iñupiat, an indigenous ethnic. Northernmost hospital/medical facility in the United States has officially restored its original name $... Wind, while thawing soil threatens homes and municipal and commercial structures the shoreline rapidly. Adult Education courses for GED preparation and certificates in various programs entire month or year ) utqiagvik name change based on at... Utqiagvik ( pronounced Oot'-kee-ahg'-vick ) is Barrow 's traditional Iñupiaq name,.. Construction and was relocated across the city 's native name of their city back to the town as Utqiaġvik Utqiagvik! 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