During the Cold War, Point Hope residents faced numerous nuclear assaults against their lands. The first, Project Chariot, proposed to detonate a string of 5 nuclear weapons to create a harbor on Alaska's north slope. While Iñupiat residents were able to successfully retaliate against the detonation of these weapons, preliminary testing from the Department of Energy has left the soil extensively contaminated with deisel.
In addition, in 1962 the US government transported radioactively contaminated soil to Point Hope for a series of experiments. The soil was buried at unmarked sites and scientists used it to observe movement of radioactive particles through soil and the environment. Residents were unaware that this research was occurring until 30 years afterwards when documents were declassified.
Today, cancer is the leading cause of death in Point Hope.
See also: Project Chariot.