The Native Village of Savoonga is located on the northern coast of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, 164 miles west of Nome. It lies 39 miles southeast of Gambell. St. Lawrence Island is about 145 km (90 miles) long and 13-36 km (8-22 miles) wide. It is thought to be a remnant of the Bering Land Bridge. When the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was passed in 1971 Gambell and Savoonga opted not to participate therefore the island is jointly owned by Gambell and Savoonga. Access to the island is solely by plane and by boat.
Its population is about 900 and is a traditional Siberian Yupik village with a subsistence lifestyle based on walrus and whale hunting. Savoonga is hailed as the “Walrus Capital of the World.” Whale, seal, walrus, and reindeer comprise about 80% of their diets.