Deering is located on Kotzebue Sound at the mouth of the Inmachuk River, 57 miles southwest of Kotzebue. It is built on a flat sand and gravel spit 300 feet wide and a half-mile long. Deering is located in the Cape Nome Recording District and is in the transitional climate zone, which is characterized by long, cold winters and cool summers. The average low temperature during January is -18 degrees Fahrenheit. The average high during July is 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature extremes from a low of -60 to a high of 85 degrees Fahrenheit have been measured. Snowfall averages 36 inches, and total precipitation averages 9 inches per year. Kotzebue Sound is ice-free from early July until mid-October.
The village was established in 1901 as a supply station for Interior gold mining near the historic Malemiut Eskimo village of “Inmachukmiut.” The name Deering was probably taken from the 90-ton schooner “Abbey Deering,” which was in nearby waters around 1900. The City was incorporated in 1970.
The population of the village is primarily Inupiat . The people are active in subsistence. The sale or importation of alcohol is banned in the village.
Deering’s economy is a mix of cash and subsistence activities. Moose, seal and beluga whale provide most meat sources; pink salmon, tom cod, herring, ptarmigan, rabbit and waterfowl are also utilized. The Karmun-Moto reindeer herd of 1,400 animals provides some local employment. A number of residents earn income from handicrafts and trapping. The village is interested in developing a craft production facility and cultural center to train youth in Native crafts. The school, City, Maniilaq Assoc., stores, and an airline provide the only year-round jobs. Some mining occurs in the Seward Peninsula’s interior. Two residents hold commercial fishing permits. The village wants to develop eco-tourism, including a 38-mile road to Inmachuk Springs for tourists.
Borough Assembly Member
Nathan Hadley, Jr.
P.O. Box 83 Buckland, AK 99727