The people of the Kuukpik Corporation come from the Inupiat village of Nuiqsut, located on the Nigliq Channel of the Colville River Delta, approximately 35 miles from the coast of the Beaufort Sea. Nuiqsut was one of three abandoned Inupiat villages identified in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971. The provisions of ANCSA, allowed for Alaska Native communities with at least 25 families to form village corporations and claim entitlement to their traditional lands.
The Kuukpikmiut (“people of the big river”) formed the Kuukpik Corporation, and in April 1973, 27 families traveled from Barrow to re-establish Nuiqsut, the village of their ancestors. Today, the Kuukpikmiut continue to live off the land and sea, practicing the traditional subsistence lifestyle passed down through generations. This includes caribou, moose, birds, fish, seal, and the bowhead whale.