Arctic Refuge Protectors: An Open Letter from Teachers and Scholars

Christopher Sellers's picture
Call for Volunteers
United States
Subject Fields: 
Environmental History / Studies, Native American History / Studies
Fellow defenders of the Arctic Refuge & Indigenous Rights:

The Arctic Refuge is under urgent threat. On December 20, 2018, the day before the longest government shutdown in US history began, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on oil and gas leasing in the refuge. Dismissing concerns raised by the public and Indigenous peoples and failing to conduct a full scientific assessment, the BLM is now rushing through the public hearing process and trying to stifle public participation. But the people are standing up and fighting back, as demonstrated by a series of inspiring Indigenous-led actions in Alaska over the past week. 

To support this ongoing struggle, we have launched an international letter campaign "Arctic Refuge Protectors: An Open Letter from Teachers and Scholars." This open letter condemns both the draft EIS and the BLM's repeated efforts to prioritize outcome over process to benefit the oil industry and its allies. 

We are inviting teachers and scholars--elementary and secondary school teachers, college and university faculty, graduate students, independent scholars and writers, investigative journalists, librarians, editors, museum professionals, and other educators and researchers--from the United States, Canada, and around the world to join us in the campaign to protect the Arctic Refuge and uphold Indigenous Rights. This letter with all the signatories will be submitted to the BLM on March 13, 2019, the deadline for public comment on the draft EIS. 

To endorse this letter, send an email to your name, affiliation, and state/province/country. Please endorse as soon as possible--but by no later than March 8.

We also request that you please share the letter web-page within your network as widely as possible:
Our letter was published in Common Dreams yesterday and was also referenced in a separate news article  “New Legislation Aims to Avert Arctic Giveway to 'Corporate Polluters' Sneaked Into GOP Tax Scam”.

As teachers and scholars, we know that younger generations are worried about the escalating dangers to our planet's biological, climate, and life-support systems. The short-term drive to drill in the Arctic undercuts their hopes for a sustainable future. We ask that you join us in this effort to defend the Arctic Refuge and Indigenous Rights. 

With thanks,
Rosemary Ahtuangaruak
Subhankar Banerjee
Finis Dunaway
Norma Kassi
Contact Info: 

Finis Dunaway, Trent University

Contact Email: