Shungnak was founded in 1899 as a supply point for mining activities in the Cosmos Hills. The Inupiaq Eskimo village was forced to move in the 1920s because of river erosion and flooding. The old site, 10 miles upstream, was renamed Kobuk by those who remained there. The new village was named “Kochuk,” but later changed to Shungnak (“SHUNG-nak”). This name is derived from the Eskimo word “Issingnaq,” which means jade, a stone found extensively throughout the surrounding hills. With a populations of about 250, Shungnak lies 150 miles east of Kotzebue.