is located on the northwest cape of St. Lawrence Island, 200 miles
southwest of Nome, in the Bering Sea. The City is 36 miles from the
Chukotsk Peninsula, Siberia. It lies at approximately 63░ 47' N
Latitude, 171░ 45' W Longitude (Sec. 03, T020S, R067W, Kateel River
Meridian). The community is located in the Cape Nome Recording District.
The area encompasses 11 sq. miles of land and 19 sq. miles of water.
St. Lawrence Island has been inhabited
intermittently for the past 2,000 years by both Alaskan and Siberian
Yup'ik Eskimos. In the 18th and 19th centuries, over 4,000 people
inhabited the island in 35 villages. Sivuqaq is the Yup'ik name for the
village and for the Island. The City was renamed for Mr. and Mrs. Vene
C. Gambell. A tragic famine between 1878 and 1880 decimated the
population. In 1900, reindeer were introduced to the island for local
use, and in 1903, President Roosevelt established a reindeer
reservation. During the 1930s, some residents moved to Savoonga to
establish a permanent settlement there. When the Alaska Native Claims
Settlement Act (ANCSA) was passed in 1971, Gambell and Savoonga decided
not to participate, and instead opted for title to the 1.136 million
acres of land in the former St. Lawrence Island Reserve. The island is
jointly owned by Savoonga and Gambell.