1,000 signatures reached
To: The U.S. Congress and President Obama
Stand with Native Alaskans: Protect the Arctic Refuge
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a part of God's creation that stands alone in its wilderness, ecological integrity, and beauty. This sacred landscape is also home of the Gwich'in, Alaska native people who depend upon the Porcupine caribou herd for their daily subsistence. The possibility of oil exploration in the Refuge jeopardizes the ecological integrity of the Refuge and the way of life of the Gwich'in people. As members of the faith community, we ask you to grant the Arctic Refuge the strongest possible protection. It is our hope that you will join us in recognizing that the precious gift of the Arctic Refuge deserves our best efforts at stewardship and preservation by permanently protecting the Refuge for this generation, and generations to come.
Why is this important?
For decades, the Gwich'in people have been defending their ancestral land and culture from the imminent threat of oil exploration and drilling. For daily sustenance, the Gwich’in depend on the Porcupine caribou herd, whose birthing patterns would be disrupted by oil exploration. The Gwich'in call the caribou birthing grounds "the sacred place where life begins," and they believe the caribou and Gwich'in people share a piece of each others' hearts. Defending the ecological integrity of the Arctic Refuge is also about defending the lives, livelihoods, spirituality, and culture of the Gwich'in people.
How it will be delivered
In April, Gwich'in community leaders will swarm Capitol Hill to protect the Arctic Refuge. They will have an unprecedented diverse coalition behind them: veterans, sportsmen, environmental groups, ethnic associations, and faith communities will be among those who will stand strong with the Gwich'in people and carry ALL our voices to our members of Congress. At that time, we will highlight how many people from each state have signed the petition. Follow the campaign at #WeAreTheArctic.