It was announced yesterday that the Interior Department will cancel its remaining oil leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
This will prevent drilling in 13 acres in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
The Biden Administration declared the ANWR lease sale, which was held in 2021 during the final days of President Trump’s administration, violated federal law.
The Interior Department also added protections by putting a stop to offshore drilling in the federal waters of the Beaufort Sea earlier this year, almost a year before the administration approved ConocoPhillips’ $8 billion oil development project Willow in the reserve.
Guatemala’s much-criticized attorney general met with the head of the Organization of American States (OAS) this week about her justice department’s role in the country’s turbulent election process.
Meanwhile, Indigenous leaders carried out traditional ceremonies to censure the attorney general and others they accuse of corruption.
Maria Martin reports.
After her meeting with OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, Guatemala’s Attorney General Maria Consuelo Porras said there’s a campaign to discredit her and her justice department for investigating valid legal complaints.
She rejected the accusation that her investigation of President-elect Bernardo Arévalo’s Semilla party is an attempt at a legal coup.
Meanwhile, Indigenous groups are stepping up actions asking for Porras’ resignation.
On Tuesday, Maya ancestral authorities performed a traditional ceremony outside the presidential palace, asking for punishment for corrupt government officials.
There’s a new marker along Anchorage’s Coastal Trail.
It says Nuch’ishtunt, which means “the place protected from the wind” in Dena’ina Athabascan.
The sign is part of the Indigenous Place Names Project and is a reminder that Dena’ina people were and continue to be part of Anchorage.
Jeremy Hsieh reports from Alaska Public Media in Anchorage.
At a ceremony celebrating the new signpost, Aaron Leggett shares an anecdote about meeting other young Alaska Natives when he was 19 working at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
“And I told them that I was Dena’ina. They said, ‘Well, what’s that?’ Then they said, ‘Well, where’s your village?’ I said, ‘We’re from here.’ They said, ‘No, where’s your Native village?’ I said, ‘We’re from here.’ ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘Well, Eklutna is 26 miles from downtown Anchorage.’ And some of them who had grown up in Anchorage said, ‘Well, I didn’t know Native people lived here.”
He says he realized Dena’ina were largely invisible and he wanted to work on reclaiming who Dena’ina are as a people.
That was more than 20 years ago.
Now, Leggett is the president of the Native Village of Eklutna and a curator with the Anchorage Museum.
He’s been working on the Indigenous Place Names Project since its inception in 2018.
The “Nuch’ishtunt” sign is the effort’s fourth installment.
Dena’ina people used to set up seasonal salmon fishing camps near this point, up until federal officials banned commercial fishing here in the 1950s.
“Indigenous place making deepens the connection we have to place.”
Beth Nordlund is the executive director of the Anchorage Park Foundation, another organization working on the project.
“This is bigger than signs. It’s a movement.”
Project supporters eventually want to put up 32 of these sculpture signs in high visibility areas around Anchorage and Eklutna.
They each feature iron artwork representing a fire bag, a pouch used to carry materials for starting a fire.
It’s also a symbol of living outdoors and sharing.
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