The Administration’s Climate and Energy Agreement with Canada Causes Concern for Voice of The Arctic Iñupiat
People of the Arctic are again afterthoughts to President Obama as he continues to build his legacy around climate change
(Point Hope, AK) “Once again the people of the Arctic have been forgotten and left out of President Obama and his administration’s decisions with regard to the Arctic,” stated Sayers Tuzroyluk Sr., president of Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat (VOAI). “We are appalled by the lack of inclusion or consideration by the president when setting sweeping objectives with Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau last week. Through instigation by the World Wildlife Fund and the National Resource Defense Council, the Iñupiat continue to be victims to outside forces who impose themselves and their views on the Arctic.”
Through a news conference held on March 10, 2016 President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau provided a laundry list of requirements and potential new regulations that will affect the oil and gas industry – which provides for the economy of the North Slope – in the name of climate change initiatives. “This decision does nothing to restore sea ice,” said Tuzroyluk. “It instead can have significant negative economic impacts to our communities. We would hope that someday the federal government will recognize the indigenous people of the area as unique and worth saving too.” Tuzroyluk went on to add, “Without consultation the U.S. and Canada are preventing local community economic development for the indigenous people of both countries – this is a huge disappointment to all Iñuit. We will be reaching out to our families in Canada to unify on specific items in the agreement that will have a negative effect on our people and culture.”
VOAI is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit whose membership organizations include Arctic Slope Native Association (ASNA), Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), Atqasuk Corporation, City of Anaktuvuk Pass, City of Atqasuk, City of Barrow, City of Kaktovik, City of Point Hope, City of Wainwright, Ilisaġvik College, Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation (KIC), Native Village of Atqasuk, Native Village of Point Hope, Native Village of Point Lay, Wainwright Tribal Council, North Slope Borough, Nunamiut Corporation, Olgoonik Corporation, Tikigaq Corporation and Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC).