Kiana, or Katyaak, means "a place where three rivers meet." It was settled hundreds of years ago as the main village of the Kobuk River's Kowagmiut Iñupiat Eskimos. In 1909, it became a supply center for mines along the Squirrel River. Prior to the formation of the Northwest Arctic Borough in 1976, the Bureau of Indian Affairs high school taught students from Noatak, Shungnak, and Ambler, who boarded with local residents.
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