Ambler is located on the north bank of the Kobuk River, near the confluence of the Ambler and the Kobuk Rivers. It lies 45 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It is 138 miles northeast of Kotzebue. Ambler is located in the Kotzebue Recording District.
Ambler is named after Dr. James M. Ambler, U.S. Navy, surgeon on the U.S.S. Jeannette, who perished in 1881 in the Lena River delta while with the Arctic expedition under the command of Lt. Comdr. G.W. DeLong (1879-1880.) Ambler was permanently settled in 1958 when people from Shungnak and Kobuk moved upstream because of the variety of fish, wild game and spruce trees in the area. An archaeological site is located nearby at Onion Portage. A post office was established in 1963. The City was incorporated in 1971.
A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community — the Native Village of Ambler. The sale or importation of alcohol is banned in the village.
Cash employment is limited to the school, City, clinic, and local stores, and some mining occurs. One resident holds a commercial fishing permit. Subsistence is a major part of the local economy. Birch baskets, fur pelts, and jade, quartz, bone and ivory carvings are sold in gift shops throughout the state. Ambler’s major means of transportation are by barge, plane, small boat and snowmachine. Boats are used for inter-village travel and subsistence activities. ATVs and snowmachines are commonly used in winter.
Local hospitals or health clinics include Ambler Health Clinic (907-445-2129). Ambler Health Clinic is a Primary Health Care facility. Ambler is classified as an isolated village, it is found in EMS Region 4A in the Maniilaq Association Region. Emergency Services have river and air access. Emergency service is provided by volunteers and a health aide.
Borough Assembly Member
Miles Cleveland, Sr.
P.O. Box 105 Ambler, AK 99786