- Pronounced (VEEN-uh-tie)
- Current Population 181 (2012 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)
- Legislative Districts (link to State Legislature page):
- Senate District T
- House District 39
- Judicial District 4
- Latitude: 67.0139
- Longitude: -146.4186
Venetie is located on the north side of the Chandalar River, 45 miles northwest of Fort Yukon.
The winters are long and harsh, and the summers are short but warm. Daily minimum temperatures between November and March are usually below 0 °F. Extended periods of -50 to -60 °F are common. Summer high temperatures run 65 to 72 °F; a high of 97 °F has been recorded. Total annual precipitation averages 6.6 inches, with 43 inches of snowfall. The Chandalar River is ice-free from the end of May through mid-September.
Known to early explorers as Old Robert’s Village or Chandalar Village, Venetie was founded in 1895 by a man named Old Robert, who chose Venetie because of its plentiful fish and game. In 1899 the U.S. Geological Survey noted about 50 Natives living on the Chandalar; some were in small settlements of cabins about 7 miles above the mouth of the river, but most were in the mountainous part of the country beyond the Yukon Flats. They spent only the coldest winter months in cabins and the remainder of the year traveling for various food sources.
In 1905 Venetie was a settlement of half a dozen cabins and 25 or 30 residents. The gold rush to the Chandalar region in 1906-07 brought a large number of miners. A mining camp of nearly 40 cabins and attendant services was established at Caro, upriver from Venetie, and another store was located near the mouth of the East Fork.
By 1910 the Chandalar was largely played out, and Caro almost completely abandoned. In 1943 the Venetie Indian Reservation was established, due to the combined efforts of the residents of Venetie, Arctic Village, Christian Village, and Robert’s Fish Camp, who worked together to protect their land for subsistence use. At about this same time, a school was established at Venetie, encouraging additional families to settle in the village. Eventually an airstrip, post office, and store were built. During the 1950s and 60s, the use of seasonal camps declined, but the advent of the snowmachine enabled Venetie residents to renew use of areas which had traditionally been occupied seasonally.
When the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was passed in 1971, Venetie and Arctic Village opted for title to the 1.8 million acres of land in the former reservation, which they own as tenants in common through the Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government.
Venetie is comprised largely of descendants of the Neets’ai Gwich’in and, to a lesser extent, the Gwichyaa and Dihaii Gwich’in. The village council is combined with Arctic Village. Subsistence activities are an important part of the local culture.
Community profile data provided by the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.