Gateway to the Arctic

About Us
History of Community

Kotzebue lies on a sand spit at the end of the Baldwin Penninsula in the Kotzebue Sound where the Noatak, Kobuk and Selawik rivers end. The Kotzebue Sound was named after Otto von Kotzebue who 'discovered' the sound while exploring for Russia in 1818. The site was a trading location for local natives for hundreds of years. A post office was established in 1899.

The local name for the site is Kikiktagruk. Kotzebue has a population of over 3,000, about 70% Native Alaskan (Iñupiat Eskimo) and serves as a supply hub for 10 satellite villages in the Northwest Arctic Borough and one in the North Slope Borough.
The Iñupiat Eskimo speak the same language, Iñupiaq (In-yu-pak), as other Arctic Circle communities in Northern Canada and Greenland, given a difference in the local dialects. More about the language at

City of Kotzebue
258A Third Avenue
PO Box 46, Kotzebue, AK 99752
(907) 442-3401

Fourth of July Parade and Fair
Each year, the July 4 Celebration is Kotzebue's big event, with a parade and Fair, with contests and vendor booths.