Wainwright is located along a wave-eroded coastal bluff on the west side of a narrow peninsula, which separates Wainwright Inlet from the Chukchi Sea. Captain F.W. Beechey named the inlet in 1826 for his officer, Lt. John Wainwright. The present village was established in 1904 when the Alaska Native Service built a school there.

The Olgoonik Corporation is the Village Corporation established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Act of 1971. The Olgoonik Corporation owns approximately 171,000 acres of surface lands in and around the community. The corporation also operates several subsidiaries providing services such as logistics, technical and management services, and construction.

In early summer, the community gathers for Nalukataq, the feast after a successful whaling season. At this festival and on other occasions, villagers perform traditional Iñupiat dances. Other activities include boating, snowmobiling, hunting, camping, smelt fishing in the spring, and native arts and crafts.


City of Wainwright
P.O. Box 9
Wainwright, AK 99782,
Phone 907-763-2815
Fax 907-763-2811

Olgoonik Corporation
P.O. Box 29
Wainwright, AK 99782
Phone 907-763-2613
Fax 907-763-2926

Village of Wainwright
P.O. Box 143
Wainwright, AK 99782
Phone 907-763-2535
Fax 907-763-2536

PO BOX 129 BARROW AK 99723 (907) 852-8633