Atqasuk is inland from the Arctic Ocean and is located on the Meade River, about 60 miles southwest of Utqiaġvik. In the summer, the temperature ranges from 40 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The winter temperatures range from 12 degrees to 30 degrees below zero.
Atqasuk is an Iñupiat hunting and fishing ground. Abandoned sod houses, and an old cellar and gravesite near the village provide evidence of an early settlement here.
During World War II, coal was mined in the community and freighted to Utqiaġvik. During the next ten years, the village existed under the name of Meade River. Although the population dwindled in the 1960s, former residents from Utqiaġvik moved to the community in the 1970s and re-established the village under the name of Atqasuk.
Atqasuk’s residents rely heavily on subsistence and enjoy berry picking, hunting caribou, ptarmigan, ducks and geese. They also fish for grayling, burbot, salmon and whitefish in the Meade River.