Togiak School

P.O. Box 50

History, Culture and Demographics

In 1880, "Old Togiak," or "Togiagamute," was located across the Bay, and had a population of 276. Heavy winter snowfalls made wood-gathering difficult at Old Togiak, so gradually people settled at a new site on the opposite shore, where the task was easier. Many residents of the Yukon-Kuskokwim region migrated south to the Togiak area after the devastating influenza epidemic in 1918-19. A school was established in an old church in 1950. A school building and a National Guard Armory were constructed in 1959. Togiak was flooded in 1964, and many fish racks and stores of gas, fuel oil and stove oil were destroyed. Three or four households left Togiak after the flood and developed the village of Twin Hills upriver. The City government was incorporated in 1969.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Togiak Traditional Council. The population of the community consists of 92.7% Alaska Native or part Native.  Togiak is a traditional Yup'ik Eskimo village with a fishing and subsistence lifestyle. The sale, importation or possession of alcohol is banned in the village. During the 2000 U.S. Census, total housing units numbered 221, and vacant housing units numbered 19. Vacant housing units used only seasonally numbered 7. U.S. Census data for Year 2000 showed 173 residents as employed. The unemployment rate at that time was 26.84 percent, although 66.67 percent of all adults were not in the work force. The median household income was $23,977, per capita income was $9,676, and 29.9 percent of residents were living below the poverty level.