SECRETARY HAALAND MUST LISTEN TO ALASKA NATIVE COMMUNITIES
The U.S. Department of the Interior, led by Secretary Deb Haaland, is ignoring Alaska Native communities and denying us our rightful seat at the policymaking table. A shameful history of little to no consultation has produced deeply flawed policy outcomes affecting the lands we have called home for millennia — including the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) which are both singled out by Interior’s unprecedented actions this fall.
Secretary Haaland’s neglect of Alaska Native communities cannot continue. Despite her commitment to indigenous rights, she has so far refused eight meeting requests from our tribal government and overseen a culture of, at best, nominal consultation with our communities.
Starting now, the North Slope Iñupiat must be included at the policymaking table for any and all issues affecting our lands and people. Anything less is a gross overstep by the federal government.
REQUESTS FOR MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT
The North Slope’s elected leadership, including those from its federally recognized tribes, has issued at least eight meeting invitations to Secretary Haaland, however each one has been ignored or declined.
This is not just a dereliction of duty – it is a violation of the rule of law. According to the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, the Secretary is obligated to honor a government-to-government relationship with our federally recognized tribes, like the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope. She has yet to do so.
Other formal requests for consultation include:
November 2, 2023:
Village of Wainright Requests for a 90-Day Extension of the Deadline for Comments on BLM’s Proposed Rule for the Management and Protection of the National Petroleum Reserve: Alaska, and for In-Person Consultation with Decision Makers
November 2, 2023:
Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation Request for a 90-Day Extension of the Deadline for Comments on BLM’s Proposed Rule for the Management and Protection of the NPR-A, and for In-Person Consultation with Decision Makers
November 22, 2022:
VOICE Letter to Secretary Haaland
PRESS RELEASES & MEDIA STATEMENTS
September 19, 2023:
VOICE Takes Advocacy for North Slope Land Rights to Capitol Hill
September 6, 2023:
Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat Press Statement on NPR-A and ANWR Leases
March 13, 2023:
VOICE Statement on Willow Project Record of Decision