in the Kenai Peninsula Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (tie oh' neck)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Geography and Climate
- Tyonek lies on a bluff on the northwest shore of Cook Inlet, 43 miles southwest of Anchorage. Tyonek is not located directly on the Kenai Peninsula.
- Winter temperatures typically range 4 to 22 °F; summer temperatures average from 46 to 65 °F. Temperature extremes have been recorded from -27 to 91 °F. Average annual precipitation is 23 inches, with 82 inches of snow.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- It is a Dena'ina Athabascan village. Various settlements in this area include Old Tyonek Creek, Robert Creek, Timber Camp, Beluga, and Moquawkie Indian Reservation. Captain Cook's journal provides a description of the Upper Cook Inlet Athabascans in 1778, who possessed iron knives and glass beads. He concluded that the Natives were trading indirectly with the Russians. Russian trading settlements were established at "Tuiunuk" and Iliamna prior to the 1790s but were destroyed due to dissension between the Natives and the Russians. Between 1836 and 1840, half of the region's Indians died from a smallpox epidemic. The Alaska Commercial Company had a major outpost in Tyonek by 1875. In 1880, "Tyonok" station and village, believed to be two separate communities, had a total of 117 residents, including 109 Athabascans, 6 "creoles", and 2 whites. After gold was discovered at Resurrection Creek in the 1880s, Tyonek became a major disembarkment point for goods and people. A saltery was established in 1896 at the mouth of the Chuitna River north of Tyonek. In 1915, the Tyonek Reservation (also known as Moquawkie Indian Reservation) was established. The devastating influenza epidemic of 1918-19 left few survivors among the Athabascans. The village was moved to its present location atop a bluff when the old site near Tyonek Timber flooded in the early 1930s. The population declined when Anchorage was founded. In 1965 the federal court ruled that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) had no right to lease Tyonek Indian land for oil development without permission of the Athabascans themselves. The tribe subsequently sold rights to drill for oil and gas beneath the reservation to a group of oil companies for $12.9 million. The reservation status was revoked with the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971. Beluga, a site near Tyonek, is owned by Chugach Electric Association and provides some electricity for Anchorage.
- Tyonek is a Dena'ina Indian village practicing a subsistence lifestyle.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Tyonek
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- No road access exists. Permission is required to land at the local gravel airstrip, owned by the Village of Tyonek, although regularly-scheduled flights are available. A state-owned gravel airstrip is available at Nikolai Creek, and a gravel airstrip, owned by Arco Alaska, is located at Beluga. A local road connects to nearby Beluga. Barges deliver goods to the village.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District