Kuukpik was established in 1973 under the provisions of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), which provided 44 million acres of land and $963 million to Alaska indigenous peoples. The land and money were divided among regional, urban and village corporations. The settlement compensated the Natives for the collaborative use of their lands and opened the way for all Alaskans to profit from oil, essentially extinguishing Alaska Native claims to the land by transferring titles to 12 Alaska Native regional corporations and more than 200 local village corporations. Kuukpik is the village corporation for Nuiqsut with more than 250 enrolled shareholders.
Abundant in petroleum and natural gas deposits, the Colville River Delta lies 50-miles west of Prudhoe Bay. It is the site of the 429-million-barrel Alpine oil field, operated by ConocoPhillips Alaska. Alpine is the fifth largest oil discovery on the North Slope and the first on Native-owned lands. Production started in late 2001. Kuukpik owns the surface rights to portions of the oil field and receives a small royalty from the production of oil and gas.
As the first Native village to be impacted in this way by the oil industry, Kuukpik Corporation was able to successfully negotiate a comprehensive surface-use agreement. This agreement established provisions for education, training, preferences in contracting, employment and the environment.
The Corporation and its partners (Kuukpik/Arctic Services, LLC, Kuukpik/LCMF, Kuukpik/Carlile Transportation, LLC, Kuukpik Drilling, LLC, Nanuq, Inc., and Kuukpik/NANA Management Services, LLC) are involved in many types of projects including gravel mobilization, pipe transportation, placement of pipe and facilities, and pipe welding and transportation. Jobs and training opportunities for our shareholders are of paramount importance to Kuukpik. All state and federal environment standards were incorporated by reference into the agreement, as well as the environmental standards and stipulations developed by the Corporation.
Prior to discovery of the Alpine oil field, Nuiqsut was primarily a subsistence-based economy. Subsistence remains the integral way of life for the Inupiat people of Nuiqsut, which resulted in the development of the Kuukpik Subsistence Oversight Panel as part of the surface-use agreement. This panel provides ongoing local input and oversight for the protection, promotion and health of the subsistence resources in the area.
The traditional values of Care of the Land, Care of Resources and Healthy, Safe Surroundings have always been part of the Corporations goals and objectives. As a vital part of monitoring and protecting subsistence resources, Kuukpik has successfully produced scientific studies and subsistence harvest reports. We are committed to environmentally safe, economically feasible exploration, development and production of our lands and to ensuring subsistence users’ rights are protected.