Brevig Mission (Sitaisaq) is located at the mouth of Shelman Creek on Port Clarence, 5 miles northwest of Teller and 65 miles northwest of Nome. Brevig Mission is located in the Cape Nome Recording District. The area encompasses 2.6 sq. miles of land and 0.1 sq. miles of water.
The Kauwerak Eskimos in this area lived in migratory communities in pursuit of hunting and fishing grounds and traded furs with Siberia, Little Diomede, and King Island. They formed alliances with Wales, Little Diomede, and others for protection.
The “Teller Reindeer Station” opened near this site in 1892; it was operated by the U.S. Government until 1900. The Norwegian Rev. Tollef L. Brevig, a pioneer Lutheran missionary, began serving the reindeer station on August 1, 1894, as pastor and teacher to the Laplanders and Eskimos.
Rev. Brevig traveled between villages by dog team along the beach and often performed services in Nome. A Lutheran mission was constructed at the present site in 1900, and the village became known as “Teller Mission.” The mission was given 100 reindeer on a five-year loan from the government. By 1906, the government’s role had diminished, and the mission became dominant.
In 1963, the Brevig Mission post office was established. The city was incorporated in 1969. Reindeer were the economic base of this community until 1974, but the industry has since declined.
A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community — the Native Village of Brevig Mission. Brevig Mission is predominantly Inupiat Eskimo with a subsistence lifestyle. The sale, importation, and possession of alcohol is banned in the village.
Source: State of Alaska DCR