History of Newhalen

Village Happenings

Future Activities

Joanne Wassillie & Gladys Askoak

(Tribal Council workers)

The seven-member Newhalen Tribal Council is recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as the tribal governing body of the Alaska Native residents of Newhalen.

Phone Number (907) 571-1410

Fax Number (907) 571-1537

Address :Newhalen Tribal Council

Newhalen, AK P.O. Box 207, 99606



Tribal Officers

President = Ronald Wassillie

Vice-President = Raymond Wassillie

Treasure = Agnes Rychnovsky

Secretary = Gladys Askoak

Members = Terry Wassillie, Peter Olympic, and Sava Anelon

Elder Adviser = Paul Wassillie


History of Newhalen

The primarily Yupik village of Newhalen takes its present day name from an anglicization of its original Yupik name Noghelingamuit, meaning "people of Noghelin," and Noghelin meaning a "land of prosperity or abundance." Aptly-named, the village of Noghelin nestles against Lake Iliamna (approximately 90 miles long and 22 miles wide), Alaska's largest lake.The lake area is home to some of the world's largest caribou herds, salmon, trout and numerous wildlife species.

Newhalen is a remotely located incorporated city under Alaska code. Most residents support themselves and their families by subsistence and seasonal fishing. Some travel as far down river as Bristol Bay.

The region's closest substantial population centers are the Bristol Bay area to the west and Anchorage to the northeast. Bristol Bay takes an hour by air or six hours by boat down the Kvichak River. Travel to Anchorage takes an hour flight or six hour boat ride across the Cook Inlet.

The village of Newhalen has approximately 15 miles of gravel roads that stretch as far as the Nondalton landing, fourteen air miles away. No roads connect the community to other parts of Alaska; therefore, access is by plane or boat only. Newhalen is served by a regional airport with one 3,000 foot runway and one 1,500 foot runway (scheduled to be extended this summer), and is serviced by four airline companies with several flights arriving each day in summer. Northern Air Cargo delivers freight several times each week.

The population has increased steadily during the 20th century to 186 in 1996. The composition of the village is predominantly Native (about 95%), mostly Yupik with some Aleut. Today, Newhalen remains a fishing village, with commercial catches from Bristol Bay and subsistence fishing in Lake Iliamna and Newhalen River. Newhalen City is a General Law or a Second Class City. Second Class City means the General Law Mayor is the member of the Council and is elected by the Council members.

People from all over the world travel to Newhalen to enjoy some of the best salmon fishing anywhere. Several bed an breakfast establishments and one hotel, as well as simple camping areas accommodate visitors.

Village Happenings

Newhalen Tribal Council holds potlaches, Native dances, and live band dances with door prizes and split-the-pot raffles.


Our first annual Easter Ball included a live band dance and door prizes. Children played games, hunted eggs, and received Easter baskets. Many visitors from surrounding villages joined in the fun and celebration.

Village Carnival, usually held the second week end in February, brings together many village communities to enjoy dog races, dinners, dances, games, native crafts auction, and many other activities. The Dog Mushers raise money to fund local activities.

Future Activities:

Teen center

Basketball court

Eight New HUD homes


(Newhalen Tribal Office) (Gladys Askoak at work)

Visit and enjoy our community of Newhalen!

Hedlund Aircraft Salvage

Iliamna Airport Market

Iliamna Air Taxi

Iliamna Espresso

Iliamna Lake Lodge

Iliamna Trading


Iliamna Village Council

Mink Creek Bear Watch

Moody's Petroleum

Newhalen Rafts

Newhalen School

Wilderness Cab

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Created by: Ray Allen Wassillie, Eric Wassillie, and Newhalen School


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