April 20, 2018
Canadian First Nations are gearing up to fight new U.S. interest in oil drilling on the calving grounds of a caribou herd Indigenous people depend on for food.
According to Canadian Press, the Trump administration has announced the start of a 60-day environmental review before selling drilling leases in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.
The area is one of the most pristine areas in the United States and is the calving ground for the vast Porcupine caribou herd, which migrates into Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
Dana Tizya-Tramm of the Vuntut Gwich’In government in Yukon says all First Nations in the area plan to oppose the development at public hearings in Alaska, reports Canadian Press.
In the past, both federal Liberals and Conservatives have opposed disturbing the calving grounds.
The herd is governed by a legally binding treaty between Canada and the U.S. which is supposed to prohibit damage to its habitat.