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Stand with the Gwich’in Nation and Protect the Arctic Refuge

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Last summer, the Gwich’in Nation gathered in Arctic Village, Alaska just to the south of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For the Gwich'in people, their entire way of life is inextricably tied to the porcupine caribou herd whose calving grounds are in the coastal plain of the Refuge -- lands which are threatened by oil development. That's why the Gwich'in have, since 1988, tirelessly called upon our nation's leaders to permanently protect the coastal plain of the Refuge.

The Gwich’in Nation spans 15 villages throughout northeast Alaska and northwest Canada. Every two years the Gwich’in come together to reaffirm their commitment to protect the porcupine caribou herd and their way of life.

Last year was no different, and the resolution was passed unanimously by members of the Gwich'in Nation.

Will you support the Gwich'in Nation in their call to action by signing on to the resolution to permanently protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?

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I support the Gwich’in Nation and their call to protect the Arctic Refuge
I stand with the Gwich'in Nation in their call to the United States Congress to permanently protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The original text of Gwich’in Niintsyaa 2016: Resolution to Protect the Birthplace and Nursery Grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd WHEREAS: For thousands of years, the Giwch’in People northeast, Alaska and northwest Canada, have relied on caribou for food, clothing, shelter, tools and life itself, and today the Porcupine (River) Caribou Herd remains essential to meet the nutritional, cultural and spiritual needs of our People; and WHEREAS: The Gwich’in have the inherent right to continue our own way of life; and that this right is recognized and affirmed by civilized nations in the international covenants on human rights. Article 1 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, ratified by the U.S. Senate, reads in part: “...In no case may a people be deprived of their own means of subsistence”; and WHEREAS: The health and productivity of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and their availability to Gwich’in communities, and the very future of our People are endangered by proposed oil and gas exploration and development in the calving and post-calving grounds in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and WHEREAS: The entire Gwich’in Nation was called together by our Chiefs in Arctic Village June 5-10, 1988 to carefully address this issue and to seek the advice of our elders; and WHEREAS: The Gwich’in people of every community from Arctic Village, Venetie, Fort Yukon, Beaver, Chalkyitsik, Birch Creek, Stevens Village, Circle, and Eagle Village in Alaska; from Old Crow, Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic, Aklavik, and Inuvik in Canada have reached consensus in their traditional way, and now speak with a single voice; and WHEREAS: The Gwich’in people and Chiefs of our communities have met biennially since 1988 to re-affirm this position guided by the wisdom of our elders; and this summer met in Arctic Village, Alaska, and now re-affirm our position. NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the United States President and Congress recognize the rights of the Gwich’in People to continue to live our way of life by prohibiting development in the calving and post-calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be made Wilderness to protect the sacred birthplace of the caribou. Passed unanimously this 26th Day of July, 2016 in Arctic Village, Alaska.