The Gwich’in Steering Committee thanks the Biden administration and Secretary Haaland for pausing the leasing program for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and suspending  leases of sacred lands. Now it calls on the administration to continue to take action to protect these lands.

“The Gwich’in Nation is grateful and heartened by the news that the Biden administration has acted again on its commitment to protecting sacred lands and the Gwich’in way of life,” said Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee.

“After fighting so hard to protect these lands and the Porcupine caribou herd, trusting the guidance of our ancestors and elders, and the allyship of people around the world, we can now look for further action by the administration and to Congress to repeal the leasing program. Mashi’ choo, President Biden and Secretary Haaland, for hearing our voices and standing up for our human rights and identity. There is so much more to do to protect these lands for future generations, and today’s action is a step in that direction.”