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Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic DevelopmentThe Region
Kuspuk School District covers over 12,000 square miles. It includes eight villages accessible only by air and river travel. The villages are along the mid-Kuskokwim River from Lower Kalskag to Stony River 120 miles away. The school district offices are located in Aniak, which is about 320 miles west of Anchorage. Aniak is the hub of the region. Cold winters, with temperatures sometimes below -50º F, are offset by short summers when temperatures occasionally reach above 80º F. The regional economy is based primarily on subsistence fishing, hunting, and gathering.
The area population is about 1,500 people. In most of the villages in our District, 90-98% of the residents are Yup'ik Eskimo. There are some Athabaskan Indians. It is estimated that native Alaskans have inhabited the region for at least five hundred generations. Much of the interior Native population was not directly contacted until the late nineteenth century when missions and schools were established along the mid-Kuskokwim River. The K-12 school population is about 340 students.