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Map of Diocese with Contact Information




Diocesan Magazine

Diocese of Fairbanks e-Magazine, Nov 2020

The Alaskan Shepherd



Arctic Footprints

Spring 2020



In Yup'ik, Nunam Iqua means "End of the Earth." The Central Yup'ik Eskimo village by that name sits on a bank at the mouth of the south fork of the Yukon River, nine miles south of Alakanuk , in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

In the early 1900's, this village was known by its native name, Nunam Iqua, but in the 1930's it became commonly called Sheldon Point, after a man called Sheldon who operated a fish saltry there. The saltry was later operated by Northern Commercial Company. The United States Census made its first mention of the settlement as Sheldon Point in 1950, and recorded a population of 43. The City of Sheldon Point was formed in 1974, but in 1999 residents voted to change the name back to Nunam Iqua. A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community, the Native village of Nunam Iqua. The Alaska Department of Labor estimated a 2011 population of 190. Commercial fishing is the economic foundation of the community. Subsistence activities and trapping supplement income. Salmon, beluga whale, seal, moose, and waterfowl are harvested.

Catholic presence was first noted in 1916 when a missionary priest from the Society of Jesus in a letter to his Provincial, mentioned a stopover in Nunam Iqua due to bad weather. However, there is no more recorded Catholic presence in the village until 1954. At that time a small church was built out of salvaged lumber from another mission in Akulurak. The church was originally dedicated to Saint Mary. In 1983 it was re- dedicated to Saint Peter.

The Nunam Iqua Catholic community was served from Alakanuk by missionary priests of the Society of Jesus until the 1990's. Religious Sisters of Notre Dame and Sisters of St. Dominic from Alakanuk also visited it over the years.

Presently, parishes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta are served on a rotating schedule by ministry teams which may include priests, deacons, and religious and trained lay staff members. St. Peter Parish is served by visiting priests and ministers from the Diocesan Y-K Subregion A.