We stand with the People

The Arctic region of the United States comprises a vast portion of northern Alaska, nourishing an abundance of life that supports Alaska Native cultures and communities. The entire region, including the Arctic Refuge and the Western Arctic Reserve, are the traditional homelands of Gwich’in and Iñupiat Peoples who have stewarded and relied upon these lands from time immemorial.

The Gwich’in Nation today spans both Alaska and Canada. They make their home on or near the migratory route of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and have depended on this herd for their subsistence, culture, and spirituality for thousands of years. The Gwich’in have worked to protect the lands that are now known as the Arctic Refuge for generations. They – along with Iñupiat land protectors – strongly oppose any efforts to drill in the Refuge, which threatens the Porcupine Caribou Herd, risking the Gwich’in way of life.

The Gwich’in call the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge, Iizhik Gwats'an Gwandaii Goodlit, which means “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins." They are spiritually and culturally tied to the health of the Porcupine Caribou Herd and the coastal plain. Protecting the caribou is a matter of basic human rights. 

In both the Arctic Refuge and the Western Arctic, Iñupiat people rely on the health of the land and everything that it provides for their subsistence resources and are culturally connected to the landscape, having stewarded it for generations. They rely on clean air, healthy caribou herds, and the bounty of the sea. Their most important resource is the bowhead whale. When a whale is killed, the entire Iñupiat community gathers to harvest and divide the meat. Whale hunting is central to Iñupiat culture today, as it has been for countless generations.

Join us to stand with the Gwich’in who have dedicated their lives to protecting these sacred places and the Iñupiaq land protectors who are working to prevent Arctic communities from experiencing negative impacts from oil and gas development.

We defend Wildlife

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We protect the Environment

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