Communities [population is in brackets]:
|Anaktuvuk Pass 
Prudhoe Bay *
Census count of 47 residents reflects only residents of Deadhorse or
Prudhoe Bay. Most oilfield workers have residences elsewhere in Alaska
or the continental United States.
The North Slope Borough is the
largest borough in Alaska, covering over 15% of the total land area. It
consists primarily of the north and northeastern coast of Alaska,
including the Brooks Range, north of the Arctic Circle. The North
Slope Borough is entirely north of the Arctic Circle - north of 68o
north. The northern most point being Barrow at approximately 71o
north. The borough encompasses 87,861 square miles of land,
an area the size of Minnesota. There are no major roads
except the haul road which goes from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay. Travel is
basically dependent on air, though there is some travel by snow machine in
winter, and marine travel during the summer.
The North Slope was first permanently
settled about 4,000 years ago. The people, Inupiat, or 'the people,' were
traditionally nomadic, they were hunters, and gatherers - primarily
hunters - traditionally following animal migrations
and subsisting on whale, caribou, walrus, seal and birds. It was
strictly a subsistence economy with a culture being entirely dependent on
the harvest of the bowhead whale. Active trading between Alaskan and
Canadian bands also took place.
Atqasuk was a source of coal during World War II. Oil exploration
in the 1960s led to the development of the huge reserves in Prudhoe Bay
and subsequently, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in the 1970s.
North Slope Eskimos cast the lone vote in
opposition to passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which
passed in December 1971. In 1972, the North Slope Borough was established
with the conditional right to tax oil companies for land use operations at
Eben Hopson was the first borough mayor.
Under his leadership, the borough used millions of dollars in tax revenues
for sanitation services, water and electrical services, health services
and other amenities which until that time evaded residents. The borough
also established low-income housing and local schools, which gave
residents, rather than the Bureau of Indian Affairs, charge over the
education of their children. After
the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) in 1971,
families from Barrow re-settled the abandoned villages of Atqasuk and
In total the
region includes 6,290 residents, of which over 70 percent are Inupiat.
Barrow is the borough seat.