Gwich’in reaffirm opposition to drilling in ANWR

Tribal leaders from Fort Yukon, Venetie and Arctic Village are reaffirming their opposition to oil and gas development on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Their fight to ensure protection for the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd has been ongoing for 30 years. They continue to oppose attempts by the Trump administration to allow oil and gas development on the coastal plain.

During a lengthy meeting on April 25 at Venetie, some 43 miles northwest of Fort Yukon, tribal members spoke of the importance for Gwich’in people to speak up during the environmental impact statement process for oil and gas development within ANWR.

“Protecting the caribou herd is our main priority,” said Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Commmittee. “They sustain our way of life.

“We will continue to stand strong in unity and strength against any destruction to the calving grounds of the herd. It humbles my heart that other tribes in Alaska have been reaching out to the Gwich’in to stand in solidarity and to ask how they can help protect the coastal plain.”

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