During the mid to late 1700s, the Haidas migrated to Prince of Wales, a predominantly Tlingit area, from Graham Island in the Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada. In 1911, three Haida villages combined at the present site (Sukkwan, Howkan, and Klinkwan) for their children to attend school; it was designated as the Hydaburg Indian Reservation in 1912. The new village established a trading company, store, and sawmill. However, the villagers were never comfortable with the arrangement, and, at their request in 1926, the land was restored to its former status as part of the Tongass National Forest. One-hundred-eighty-nine acres of the land were reserved for the school and town site disposals. Hydaburg was incorporated as a city in 1927; three years after its people had become citizens of the United States. The first fish processing plant opened in 1927, and three other canneries operated through the 1930s. When the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) was amended in 1936 to include Alaska Natives, Hydaburg became the first village in Alaska to form an Indian Reorganization Act council.
Hydaburg is the largest Haida village in Alaska. Residents maintain a subsistence and commercial fishing lifestyle. A totem park, developed in the 1930s, is located in the village.
Location & Climate
Hydaburg is located on the southwest coast of Prince of Wales Island, 45 air miles northwest of Ketchikan. It lies 36 road miles west of Hollis, site of the state ferry landing. It lies at approximately 55.208060 North Latitude and -132.826670 West Longitude. (Sec. 12, T077S, R083E, Copper River Meridian.) Hydaburg is located in the Ketchikan Recording District. The area encompasses 0.3 sq. miles of land and 0.0 sq. miles of water. Prince of Wales Island is dominated by a cool, moist, maritime climate. Summer temperatures range from 49 to 63 °F; winter temperatures range from 32 to 42 °F. Average annual precipitation is 120 inches, with 40 inches of snow. *State of AK, DOT AMHS.
376 (US Census)
1st Class City originally incorporated in 1927. The City currently employs 5 lead staff. Regular elections are held the 1st Tuesday in October. The City Council meets every 1st Tuesday of the month. The current city sales tax is 4%.
Alaska Power Company (Private). Power source: hydro with diesel back-up. Kilowatt capacity: 1,020. In November of 2010 the small commercial rate for 1,500kWh/month was $0.1320 with a monthly fee of $12.93. (JEDC Asset Mapping Report)
Water & Sewer Utilities
The Hydaburg River provides water, which is treated and piped throughout the City. Piped gravity sewage is treated at a secondary treatment plant, with an 800' outfall to Sukkwaw Strait. Over 95% of all homes are plumbed.
City-operated refuse collection and landfill.
State-owned sea plane base, emergency heliport base. City owned dock and small boat harbor. State/City Highway connects the community to most of the other communities on the Island.
Accessible by float/sea plane and small water craft. Through Hollis by road the community has access to the State ferry service.
Within the Hydaburg City School District there is one school, Hydaburg School Kindergarten through 12the grade. Enrollment in the 2010-11 school year was 53. Student-teacher ratio: 6.3:1.
Hydaburg Clinic operated by SEARHC. Community Health Aid Program CHAP site. Emergency service is provided by 911 Telephone Service, volunteers and a health aide. Hydaburg EMS.
Federally Recognized Tribe
Hydaburg Cooperative Association. (Village Council; Bureau Of Indian Affairs-Recognized Indian Reorganization Act Council)
Other Community Buildings
City Day Care/Youth Center, ANB Hall, Hydaburg Municipal Building, School Library.
Community Economic Development Projects
- Subsistance: Preserve Cultural Traditions by protecting areas used, Cultural trade/bartering
- Cultural Center: Totem Project, Visitors Center, Preserve Language, traditions, protocols
- ANB Hall
- Multi-use Facility
- Bulk Fuel Facility
- Community Economic Development: CQE Program, Fisheries Programs (Hand troll permit, Seine permit, Shrimp fishery)