Savoonga is on the northern coast of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. The island has been inhabited by both Alaskan and Siberian Yup'ik Eskimos. In 1900, a herd of reindeer were moved to the island, and by 1917, the herd had grown to over 10,000 animals. A reindeer camp was established at the village site.
Savoonga is known as the "Walrus Capitol of the World." Walrus, whale, seal, and reindeer comprise 80 percent of the islander's diets. Regular air service is available from Nome and Unalakleet.