Stand with the Gwich’in People in their struggle to Defend the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Trump administration formally announced last Monday that is pushing ahead with plans to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The first leases to drill for oil and gas in the heart of an iconic pristine coastal plain, could be sold by the end of 2020. It’s a reckless move that will transform one of the largest stretches of wilderness in the US forever.


The destructive decision ends 60 years of protections for this fragile ecosystem, home to Indigenous peoples like the Gwich’in, who have protected the Arctic for generations. Oil drilling threatens nine thousand Gwich’in people who make their home on or near the migratory route of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and have depended on caribou for their subsistence way of life for thousands of years.


In a public statement about the decision, executive director of the Gwich'in Steering Committee Bernadette Demientieff said: “We will attend every court proceeding, every senate hearing, every public event. We will fight this every step of the way.” A safe climate future requires unequivocally respecting Indigenous land rights and ending the age of big oil. We must stand with the Gwich'in and all efforts to reverse this decision must be done.

“The fight to keep oil development out of the birthing grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd is far from over. Land is Life continues to stand with the Gwich’in people and to do everything we can to support them in their struggle to protect Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit, the Sacred Place Where Life Begins. This is an attack on the Gwich’in people and a flagrant violation of their rights. We will not let it stand”, stated Brian Keane, Chair of Land is Life´s Board of Directors. 

We urgently need your support in this struggle. Together we can stop oil drilling plans in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, so that the Gwich'in peoples' way of life can safely continue in their territories, as they have done for thousands of years.

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