Historically, the Kake tribe of the Tlingits controlled the trade routes around Kuiu and Kupreanof islands, defending their territory against other tribal groups in the region. Ventures into the region by early European explorers and traders resulted in occasional skirmishes between Native Tlingits and foreigners. Tensions between locals and outsiders had been escalating when, in 1869, a non-Native sentry at the settlement in Sitka shot and killed a Kake Native. In accordance with their traditional custom, the Kakes then killed two prospectors in retribution. In reprisal, the U.S. Navy sent the USS Saginaw to punish the Kakes by shelling their villages and destroying their homes, boats, and stored foods. The Kake people survived this onslaught but were forced to disperse and live with other tribes to survive. Over the following 20 years, the Kakes regrouped at the current village site. In 1891, a government school and store were built. A Society of Friends mission was also established. A post office was built in 1904. In the early part of the 20th century, Kake became the first Alaska Native village to organize under federal law, resulting in U.S. citizenship for community residents. In 1912, the first cannery was built near Kake. After the Second World War, timber harvesting and processing became a major local industry.
Kake Alaska is located on Kupreanof Island, which is strategically located in the Southeast Alaska panhandle. In addition to the community’s abundant natural resources, its people have much to offer. As a testament to the determination of Kake, the community has joined together through the local CEDS Committee which has representation from the two local governments, City of Kake and Organized Village of Kake, local ANCSA village corporation Kake Tribal Corp, local school district Kake City Schools, and local non-profit fish hatchery Gunnuk Creek Hatchery. Together, the Kake CEDS Committee has created a unified vision for Kake through the community’s local CEDS Plan. The CEDS document presents goals & objectives with associated projects that will provide essential infrastructure to utilize the community’s resources from the land & water and most importantly, the residents of this picturesque community. The goal is to enhance the socio-economic welfare of the community and re-grow the population that has declined in recent years. With all that the community has to offer, Kake can effectively serve the region while providing a healthy environment for its residents who live within the rich culture of Kake.
Location & Climate
Kake is located on the northwest coast of Kupreanof Island along Keku Strait, 38 air miles northwest of Petersburg and 95 air miles southwest of Juneau. It lies at approximately 56.975830 North Latitude and -133.947220 West Longitude. (Sec. 34, T056S, R072E, Copper River Meridian.) Kake is located in the Petersburg Recording District. The area encompasses 8.2 sq. miles of land and 6.0 sq. miles of water. Kake has a maritime climate characterized by cool summers and mild winters. It receives much less precipitation than is typical of Southeast Alaska, averaging 54 inches a year, with 44 inches of snow. Average summer temperatures range from 44 to 62 °F; winter temperatures average 26 to 43 °F. Temperature extremes have been recorded from -14 to 88 °F. *State of AK, DOT AMHS.
557 (US Census)
1st Class City incorporated in 1952. The city currently employs 9 lead staff and various other support positions. Regular elections are held every 1st Tuesday in October. The City Council meets every 1st and 3rd Tuesday. The current city sales tax is 5%.
Inside Passage Electric Cooperative. Kilowatt capacity: 3,385. In November of 2010 the small commercial rate for 1,500kWh/month was $0.5680 and $0.5090 for above 500 kWh with a monthly fee of $15.00. (JEDC Asset Mapping Report)
Water & Sewer Utilities
In July 2000, the dam at Gunnuck Creek failed and a make-shift system of pumps supply City water. The City also operates a piped sewer system and primary treatment plant. Most households are fully plumbed.
City provides refuse collection recycling and hazardous waste disposal.
City has a State-owned 4,000' x 100' lighted paved runway west of town and two seaplane bases. Facilities also include a small boat harbor, boat launch, deep water dock and State-owned/operated ferry terminal. A Multi-Purpose dock is being built to provide access for larger vessels to Kake. This is the first of many steps in providing access to our amazing resources.
Accessible by air with small craft and sea on the Alaska Marine Highway System.
Kake City Schools District has two schools; Kake Elementary and High School K-12. Enrollment in the 2010-11 school year was 89. Student-teacher ratio: 8.8:1.
Kake Health Center (operator: SEARHC). Operated by SEARHC. Community Health Aid Program CHAP site. Emergency service is provided by volunteers and a health aide.
Federally Recognized Tribe
Organized Village Kake. (Village Council; Bureau Of Indian Affairs-Recognized Indian Reorganization Act Council) www.kakealaska.com
Kake Tribal Corporation.
Other Community Buildings
Boys & Girls Club, Kake City Hall, Tlingit Haida Senior Center, Kake Community Gym, Kake City Schools gym, City Public Library, School Library
Community Economic Development Projects
- Electrical intertie (scoping underway, funding still needed for construction)
- Multi-use Dock (funding established & ready for bid)
- Beautification/Historic Preservation -- Clean-up community (e.g. old/abandoned houses/buildings), Stabilization of Kake’s first school
- Cannery stabilization
- School ventilation project (partially funded)
- Upgrade & update local fuel supply facility
- Road upgrade to hatchery (resurface/widen/guardrails on road to hatchery & stabilize bank)
- Seal Point Road upgrade
- Transportation – ferry terminal and airport
- Covered playground