Georgetown

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Georgetown is situated on the Kuskokwim River, in the Kilbuck-Kuskokwim Mountains, at its convergence with the George River. It is located between the Native villages of Crooked Creek and Red Devil.

Our History

The middle Kuskokwim area first experienced contact with European civilization when the explorer Zagoskin sailed upriver to the vicinity of McGrath in 1844. At the time, Georgetown was known as Keledzhichagat, the site of summer homes for peoples of the nearby village of Kwigiumpai- nukamuit. In 1909, gold was found along the George River near Georgetown, and a mining settlement was formed. Both the river and the settlement were named for the first three traders at the site: George Fredericks, George Morgan and George Hoffman. By the summer of 1910, about 300 prospectors were living in the vicinity. In July of 1911, a fire swept through the settlement, destroying all but 25 of 200 log cabins. Also saved were two general stores in town. By 1953, the only large structure that remained at the site was a two story house that belonged to George Fredericks.

In the 1950’s, a second settlement, also called Georgetown, began emerging on the opposite side of the George River from the earlier community. A state school was established in 1965 and remained until 1970. (Taken from Georgetown Community Profile)

Our Governance

Georgetown Tribal Council (GTC) is the governing body for the federally recognized tribe of the Native Village of Georgetown, Alaska. Under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971, 38 individuals enrolled, securing GTC’s status as a federally recognized tribe. GTC has since enrolled children of original descendants, which brings current tribal membership to 120+.

Though the enrollees are scattered for economic reasons, they retain a strong connection to their land and desire to repopulate Georgetown. As mining declined, members were forced to leave Georgetown due to lack of employment opportunities. Nearly 80% of members still live in the area, with 42 members living in Bethel and another 36 in other nearby Kuskokwim River villages. It wasn't until the passage of ANCSA and the opportunity to take ownership of ancestral lands, that former Georgetown residents and their descendants had an opportunity to plan to move back home.

Georgetown Today

Georgetown has two full time, year round residents, several temporary residents as well as an active fish camp in the summer months. The Georgetown Tribal Council office and its staff are located in Anchorage, and  Council members live in various communities along the Kuskokwim River.  

Photos of Georgetown, taken by Kate Schaberg

For a list of current contacts in Georgetown, contact the Tribal office at  (907) 274-2195. 

Website:: http://georgetowntc.com/

We also maintain an environmental blog at: https://georgetowntc.wordpress.com/



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