Richard Glenn is an inconvenient truth for opponents of drilling in the Arctic Refuge. He presents a challenge to a prevalent narrative in Washington, D.C., that Native people oppose development in the Arctic.
Sarah James’ desire to preserve the Neetsa’ii Gwich’in way of life drove her into the thick of the battle over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
It’s 3,200 miles from Joe Balash’s office in Washington, D.C., to the Neets’aii Gwich’in community of Arctic Village. But Arctic Village is barely 200 miles from North Pole, the Alaska town where Balash grew up.
Until recently, Gwich’in tribes were on the winning side of the battle over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Then, in late 2017, Congress opened the coastal plain to oil development.
Many of the Alaska Native residents of Kaktovik, the one small village inside the refuge, see oil development as an opportunity, though some remain deeply skeptical.