Congratulations to the Gwich’in Steering Committee and 2002 Goldman Prize winners Sarah James, Norma Kassi and the late Jonathon Solomon, who are celebrating 25 years of protecting the Arctic’s natural beauty and defending indigenous rights.
The celebration, which took place on August 25, 2013 in Arctic Village, Alaska, was filled with native dancing, music, and giveaways. Committee members, including Sarah James, delivered remarks about the organizations history and memories of its foundation in 1988.
James, Kassi and Solomon were awarded the Goldman Prize in 2002 for their efforts to preserve and protect Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) from oil exploration and drilling.
ANWR is home to more than 180 bird species, 36 species of freshwater fish, and mammals including polar bears, wolverines, moose and Dall sheep. The narrow coastal plain of the refuge also is the birthplace and nursing grounds of 130,000 Porcupine Caribou, on which the Gwich’in people subsist.