Gwich’in continue fight for protection of Porcupine Caribou calving grounds

GTC Vice President Jordan Peterson and President Bobbi Jo Greenland-Morgan this summer during Annual Assembly (Courtesy GTC Facebook page)

A new generation of Gwich’in Leadership will tackle the 30 year battle to protect the sacred calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou.

“Sharing our perspective as Gwich’in people and what this area means to us, and why we continue to battle to seek permanent protection for the calving grounds area,” said Gwich’in Tribal Council President Bobbi-Jo Greenland-Morgan.

She says the position from 1988 remains in place.

“At that gathering the elders and leadership of the day came together and by consensus gave direction on the position of the Gwich’in Nation on the issue and that position in 2017 remains the same,” she explained.

While she was too young to attend that gathering in Arctic Village 29 years ago, Greenland-Morgan helped bring that message to Washington before she entered politics last year.

Her Vice President Jordan Peterson says the Ni’inlii Declaration from this past summer, is another tool in the fight to protect the herd.

“When we ensure that young people are being listened to, and that same legacy our elders have left in terms that the caribou are important as ever, I think that pursuit will continue,” added Peterson.

The 2013 photo survey of Porcupine Caribou has the herd at an estimated 197 thousand strong.

Peterson and Greenland-Morgan will be getting updates from the Gwich’in Steering Committee later this week.

About the Author

Josh Campbell
Josh Campbell has returned to the CKLB News Team. He covered female university soccer and volleyball in New Brunswick, prior to graduating from Loyalist College in Mohawk Territory near Belleville, Ontario in 2007. He's covered politics and Indigenous stories in both the NWT and Yukon over the last 10 years.

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