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Eek

Ekvicuaq
Eek, AK from a bush plane
Eek, AK from a bush plane
Eek, Alaska is located in Alaska
Eek, Alaska
Eek, Alaska
Location in Alaska
Country  United States
State  Alaska
Census Area Bethel
Incorporated July 9, 1970
Area
 • Total 0.74 sq mi (1.92 km2)
 • Land 0.65 sq mi (1.68 km2)
 • Water 0.09 sq mi (0.24 km2)
Elevation
3 ft (1 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 404
 • Density 623.46/sq mi (240.83/km2)
Time zone UTC-9 (Alaska (AKST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-8 (AKDT)
ZIP codes
99578
Area code 907
FIPS code 02-21040
GNIS feature ID 1401666

Eek (Central Yupik: Iik ) is a city in Bethel Census Area, Alaska, United States. As of the 2020 census there were 404 residents, the majority of whom being Alaska Natives.

Toponymy

Eek is derived from an Eskimo word meaning "two eyes". It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.

Geography

Eek is located at 60°13′7″N 162°1′33″W / 60.21861°N 162.02583°W / 60.21861; -162.02583 (60.218662, -162.025928).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.0-square-mile (2.6 km2), of which 0.9-square-mile (2.3 km2) is land and 0.1-square-mile (0.26 km2) (12.38%) is water.

Services

Eek is serviced by one airport, due southwest of the village. A second (former) airport east of the village is the current site of a cellular transmission tower, but the runway remains in marginally usable condition and is occasionally used by private aircraft. A town dock provides access to the Eek River, which feeds into the Kuskokwim providing access to most surrounding villages by boat. During winter months many residents utilize travel by snow machine and trails are laid out between the villages in the area. Trails from Eek run to Quinhagak to the south, Tuntutuliak to the west and the Bethel area to the north.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 119
1930 100 −16.0%
1940 170 70.0%
1950 141 −17.1%
1960 200 41.8%
1970 186 −7.0%
1980 228 22.6%
1990 254 11.4%
2000 280 10.2%
2010 296 5.7%
2020 404 36.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

Eek Village was originally located on the Apokak River and moved to its present location in the late 1920s, after flooding and erosion caused the people to relocate. In 1900 Census, the village was known as "Apokagamiut" and had 118 residents. by 1910, the number of residents declined to 68. Eek appeared on the 1920 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. In the 1930 Census, the village was enumerated in the Alaska Territory Fourth Judicial District, Bethel District, 0015. with 100 residents in 18 households. It received a post office in 1949. It was formally incorporated in 1970.

As of the census of 2000, there were 280 people, 76 households, and 57 families residing in the city. The population density was 307.2 people per square mile (118.8/km2). There were 83 housing units at an average density of 91.1 per square mile (35.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 3.21% White, 95.71% Alaska Native/Yupik, and 1.07% from two or more races. 0.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 76 households, out of which 43.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.68 and the average family size was 4.54.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 41.1% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 14.3% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females, there were 120.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 117.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $17,500, and the median income for a family was $27,500. The per capita income for the city was $8,957. About 32.7% of families and 28.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.5% of those under the age of 18 and 10.0% of those 65 or over. In 2020, more than three quarters of the students at the Eek School were below the poverty line.

In 2019 there were 474 residents. 98% were Yup'ik Natives, 1% were white and 1% were Hispanic.

Economy

Most households rely on traditional native subsistence.

Education

Lower Kuskokwim School District operates the Eek School, a bilingual PreK-12 school. As of 2018 it has 120 students and six teachers. The Principal is Troy Poage and the school board President is Clarence Daniel. About $21,000 is spent per pupil. In 2020 the state awarded $34.4 million to create a new school in Eek to reduce severe classroom overcrowding, a result of a quickly growing population. It is expected to be finished in 2022.

Two teachers at the Eek School, Paul and Eloise Forrer, compiled a large collection of photos of Eek and surrounding villages, as well as a film entitled The Children of Eek and their art. Their work, dating mostly from the 1970's to 90's, is held at the Anchorage Museum.

Infrastructure

Prior to 2019, the city did not have running water. Water was distributed by truck to households, at a cost of 25 cents per five gallons. In light of health concerns over the lack of running water, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium helped the city by providing a grant for piped running water, which was completed in 2019.

The city has only one non-satellite internet provider, General Communication Inc.

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