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Throughout the previous years, the Gwich’in indigenous peoples, conservation and environmental coalitions and American voters have successfully prevented U.S. Congress from opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. But the political landscape of America has changed. With record highs in gasoline and fossil fuel prices, the oil and energy industry are using fear to push their corporate agenda to open the Arctic Refuge to drilling.

Oil corporations and their friends in the U.S. Congress continue to try to use the Budget Process to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. They have attached a drilling provision to the massive 2006 Budget Reconciliation package in an effort to limit public debate and circumvent normal congressional procedure. The Senate is expected to vote this Thursday, November 3, and the House is poised to vote the week of Nov. 7.

The most important thing to do RIGHT NOW to help save the Arctic Refuge is to call your Senators and Representatives Urge them to vote against any budget reconciliation bill that allows oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge.

You could call them at the Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121. Or call toll-free with the Arctic Action Hotline: 1-888-8-WILDAK (1-888-894-5325).

The Budget Reconciliation Bill will formally legalize drilling for oil in the Arctic Refuge!  With your help, we will defeat it.

Want to do more?
Call your Senator's in-district office and leave a message there as well. Only through your action can we ensure the safe future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and this countries other special areas that are rich in biological and cultural diversity!
Some key points to remind your elected representatives:
Please vote against any budget reconciliation budget that allows oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge. The Arctic Refuge is a national treasure that should be protected for future generations, not destroyed for a speculative and finite amount of oil. Even the Energy Information Agency has determined that Arctic oil, even at peak production, will only reduce the cost of a gallon of gas by about a penny… 20 years.
We don't need to plunder our natural heritage to meet our country's energy needs. The gains are too small and the sacrifice too great.
·  Drilling in the Arctic has nothing to do with the budget nor with generating revenues for America. The figures put forward in the reconciliation package are highly speculative at best. Both the House and Senate assume $2.4 billion in revenues from Arctic drilling, a number that is inflated to 80 times the going rate for oil leases in the region. If they really cared about high prices, they would be looking into why oil companies are raking in record profits in the wake of the recent hurricanes.
·  The issue of oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge is too important to the American public and future generations to be snuck through in the budget bill in an attempt to circumvent the established process. It should be fully debated and brought to a vote on its own merits.
·  Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would not put a dent in our dependence on foreign oil, would do nothing to strengthen our national security, and would not save consumers a dime at the pump. But the harm to wildlife and this spectacular wilderness would be permanent and irreparable.
·  Any construction and implementation of the vast oil extractive infrastructure to be built in the pristine environment of the Arctic Refuge presents too much of an ecological risk that could endanger the survival of the Porcupine Caribou, polar bears, migratory birds and other rich biodiversity. Any impact to the caribou and biodiversity in the Arctic Refuge area would negatively impact the cultural and human rights of the Gwich’in and Inupiaq indigenous communities.  Opening this area to oil drilling could set into motion the next step towards drilling offshore adjacent to Inupiaq villages such as Kaktovik.
·  Americans deserve a cheaper, quicker, safer and cleaner energy policy that safeguards the wild places we care so deeply about. We cannot drill our way to energy independence, but we can embrace responsible measures and real, 21st Century energy solutions that make cars go farther on a gallon of gas, promote conservation, energy efficiency, invest in clean renewable energy, and protect our natural heritage.

By simply increasing fuel efficiency standards for our cars to an average of 40 miles per gallon we could save more oil than we currently import from the Persian Gulf or could ever extract from the Arctic Refuge, combined.

This is it! The showdown vote
to protect the Arctic Refuge is upon us NOW!

There are some places that should be off-limits to oil drilling and industrial development, and the Arctic Refuge is one of them.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is the home of the Porcupine Caribou Herd's calving grounds, located in the Northern coastal plain. This coastal area referred to as ANWR or the 1002 lands by the oil companies, is to the Gwich’in Vadzaih googii vi dehk'it gwanlii - or "sacred place where life begins," and is *exactly* where the U.S. Republicans want to drill for the *possibility* of oil.


We have a moral responsibility to save places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for future generations. That's why our country has remained committed to its protection for nearly 50 years.


This is both an environmental justice and human rights issue.

Action Alerts /

Acciones Urgentes:

URGENT, Karuk Tribe in California calls for letters of support by May 3, 2007 for bill to halt mining and dredging activities threatening subsistence fish! Sample support letter provided

Mayan community call for support to protest “Apocalypto” racism by Mel Gibson and Cal-state Northridge”, April 22, 2007 (PDF 2MB)

 “UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination calls upon Canada to immediately endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”,  Press Release, March 8, 2007 (PDF 38K)

Letter on the Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from the Indigenous Peoples caucus to the President of the UN General Assembly, December 30, 2006

Carta sobre la Declaracion Universal sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indigenas del conclave Indigena a la Presidenta de la Asemblea General, 30 de diciembre de 2006

Link to new Indigenous caucus web site for latest news and updates on the UN Declaration for Rights of Indigenous Peoples adoption process at the 2006 UN General Assembly

Help still needed to protect sacred Medicine Lake Highlands in Northern California, sample support letter enclosed, November 17, 2005


Important Updates

Noticias al Dia:

CSD 15th session, 2007, April 30 - May 11, 2007

Link for the COMMITTEE FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, Seventieth session, 19 February – 9 March 2007,  Concluding observations re: CANADA/ COMITÉ PARA LA ELIMINACIÓN DE LA DISCRIMINACIÓN RACIAL, Septuagésimo período de sesiones, 19 de febrero – 9 de marzo de 2007,  Observaciones finales sobre CANADA

Appointment of Indigenous UNPFII members (2008-2010) announced, April 20, 2007

Treaty Council News Winter 2007 (PDF 1MB)

IITC Submission to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights for her study on the Human Right to Water, April 15th, 2007 (PDF 136k)

Human Rights Council, 4th session, March 12 - 30, 2007

V Encuentro Continental de Mujeres Indigenas: que tendra lugar en Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada, del 9 al 12 de julio del 2007/ Fifth Continental Meeting of Indigenous Women of the Americas, Kahnawake, Quebec Canada , July 9 -12, 2007

First Nations protest Canada Draft Military Report designating Mohawk Indigenous Rights Movement as targeted terrorists - Canada Now Backpeddling”, April 1, 2007

IITC and Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations Report to the (CERD) addressing the review of Canada, CERD 70th session, 19 February – 9 March, 2007

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 6th session, May 2007

UN’s human rights record challenged by Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Peoples Caucus Statement for International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2006

DOCUMENTO FINAL DEL ENCUENTRO DE JÓVENES INDÍGENAS DE MESOAMÉRICA- Boletín de prensa - Encuentro de jóvenes indígenas de Mesoamérica - Salcaja, Quezaltenango, 13 de noviembre de 2006

ENOCH RIVER CREE DECLARATION, International Indigenous Nations Treaty Summit, November 12 – 13, 2006 Enoch Cree Nation, Treaty No. 6 Nations’ Territory

DECLARACIÓN DE ENOCH RIVER CREE de la Cumbre Internacional de Naciones Indígenas sobre Tratados de 12 a 13 de noviembre de 2006

2nd Global Consultation on the Right to Food, Food Security and Food Sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples September 7 – 9, 2006, Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas Nicaragua/ 2ª Consulta Mundial sobre el Derecho a los Alimentos, Seguridad Alimentaria y Soberanía Alimentaria para los Pueblos Indígenas, 7 a 9 de septiembre del 2006, Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua

Calendario de Actividades del Grupo de Trabajo de la OEA 2006-2007 | Calendar Of Activities for the OAS Working Group 2006 – 2007

Pesticides are Poison” booklet now available online

Los Plaguicidas son Venenos” manual ahora disponible en internet

"UN General Assembly adopts "Second Decade on the World's Indigenous Peoples" (PDF 50.7K)

Mercury Contamination and Community Health in Northern California Booklet (PDF 895.5 K)

UN Web page, Indigenous Peoples and Treaties, the UN Treaty Study Expert Seminars