The Native name for Gambell, Alaska is Sivuqaq.
Location / Coordinates: Gambell, Alaska is a tiny village on the northwest cape of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, southwest of Nome, Alaska about 200 miles and east of the Chukotsk Peninsula, Siberia, Russia about 25 miles. Gambell, Alaska is part of an unorganized borough.
Coordinates: Latitude N63.78 & Longitude W-171.74
Population / Elevation: Gambell, Alaska has just under 700 residents all living at sea level.
Description: Quite isolated from the rest of the world, Gambell, Alaska and its Siberian Yup’ik Eskimo community have maintained their traditional culture. Their language and subsistence lifestyle hasn’t changed much over the last two thousand years. Most of the residents of Gambell, Alaska also speak English.
The men in Gambell, Alaska hunt seals, walrus, gray whales and bowhead whales using walrus-hide boats. There are also domesticated Reindeer herds in the village that provide meat and hides for the subsistence lifestyle of these hardy people. Ivory carving is both a popular pastime and it provides supplementary income for many Natives of Gambell, Alaska.
What to do there: Gambell, Alaska is also home to many seabird colonies. There is limited tourism by bird watchers here.
History: Sivuqaq was renamed for the Mr. and Mrs. Vene C. Gambell. The Gambells moved to Sivuqaq in the 1890s as missionaries for the Presbyterian Church. They left briefly for the Lower 48 for medical treatment. On their return trip to Sivuqaq, their boat sank and they drowned. The Natives renamed their village to honor the Gambells.
How to get there: Gambell, Alaska is on an island shared with another village, Savoonga. Accessible only by plane or boat, both of these villages have their mail, canned goods, and other necessities flown onto the island. Regular flights from Nome and charter flights from Unalakleet are available direct or via Anchorage. Lighterage services also bring freight from Shishmaref and Kotzebue.