“In Koyukuk, one of our teams put on the world premiere of the tooth brushing play. The kids would crouch in cardboard boxes—as teeth—and then the staff would use pool noodles as toothbrushes. It was a very physical, active tooth brushing lesson that got kids really excited and invested in dental health.” – Stacie, Interim Manager of Rural
Koyukuk is located on the Yukon River near the mouth of the Koyukuk River, 30 miles west of Galena, and 290 air miles west of Fairbanks. It lies adjacent to the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge and the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge. Falling within the continental climate zone, Koyukuk is characterized by extreme temperature differences of extremely cold winters and warm summers. The current population is 86 (2018).
Koyukuk, traditionally Meneelghaadze’ T’oh (Denaakk’e (Koyukon)) meaning “the village at the base of the bluff,” is a traditional Koyukon Athabascan village. Historically, it was a gathering area for trading, as well as for social and cultural events. It is also known for having many storytellers, musicians, singers, and song writers in the community.