Issue No. Ten – March 1978

      • Brigitte Bardot and the Eskimos? 
      • Feds renege on promise to provide Barrow with natural gas
      • Beaufort Sea sales – planning proceeds with N.S.B. withholding approval
      • Alaskan Native Leaders approve d-2 subsistence plan
      • Hopson blasts haul road opening proposal
      • Borough completes 1st stage of housing program
      • Whalers reject licensing regs.
      • NARL takes on bowhead research
      • Barrow gets first public water supply, but they still have to haul it
      • Native politics dominate resource conference in Canada

Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve-
A Laboratory for Cooperative Management
In 1976, with the passage of the Naval Petroleum Reserve Production Act, Congress for the first time mandated the Secretary of Interior to engage local and state groups to participate in the planning of what should be done with NPR-A. This law, specifically section 105 (c), directs the Secretary to “conduct a study to determine the values of, and best uses for, land contained in the Reserve.” This study is to take into consideration the Natives who live or depend on such lands, the scenic historical, recreational, fish and wildlife, wilderness values, mineral potentials, and other values in the Reserve.

All Alaskans have a stake in NPR-A. It is largely an area of unknowns. Little is known about its history, wildlife, or topography. The Act mandated that a thorough study of the area be conducted before any development takes place.

NSB Representative addresses
village participants at the
recent NPR-A meeting in Anchorage.

 Bob Worl, former head of NSB health department
who now sits on the NPR-A core
Planning Team,
was largely responsible for bringing together representatives of
eight North Slope Communities to discuss
the planning process mandated by Congress.


The History of NPR-A.

Not many people realize that the Inupiat people of Alaska’s Arctic coast have been using both gas and oil to heat their homes and cook their meals for thousands of years. There are oil seeps throughout this region, and Native hunters would cut oil-saturated tundra into blocks and use these pitch ladened bricks in much the same way urban homeowners use artificial particle logs.

Local tradition states that Charles Brower was the first to lead U.S. military geologists and other researchers to these oil seeps in the early years of this century. The abundance of these seeps attracted national attention at a time when the U.S. was trying to extend its political and economic influence to other parts of the world, particularly in the Pacific. In the early ’20’s the U.S. made a survey of the river drainages in what is now NPR-A and leases to private concerns were made on what was considered Federal land.

In 1928, President Warren G. Harding signed into law an act which created Naval Petroleum Reserve Four as a fuel source for its growing Navy.

About this event, Mayor Hopson stated before the Canadian Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry: “Without asking us, for it was our land, our Federal government took from us 23,400,000 acres of land, an area roughly the size of the State of Indiana, without any compensation. . . . Not many people in America knew about this taking of our land in this fashion, and it was not until the infamous Teapot Dome Scandal involving a Naval petroleum reserve in Wyoming that national attention was directed to these reserves, large tracts of valuable land taken from America’s Native people without their consent.”

World War II stimulated more interest in the oil and gas potential of the area, and from 1943 to 1953, the Navy conducted a program of oil exploration and drilling. There were several areas in which they made significant oil and gas discoveries. This spurred private industry to look again at their leases, particularly in the Prudhoe Bay area. In 1965, ARCO discovered a large gas deposit in that area. In 1967, they also announced a major oil find, a discovery that held great impact for the entire world and led to the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. It also precipitated the settlement of the Alaska Native Land Claims.

Workers on NSB planning team for NPR-A Bertha Louse, left , served as Inupiaq translator for the Feb. 8-9 NPR-A planning meeting. Rosita WorI contributed the chapter on subsistence to the NSB NPR-A study. She was one of Alaska’s representatives at the International Women’s Year Conference in Houston last year and was responsible for the conference passing the resolution on behalf of Native peoples’ rights to subsistence and bowhead whaling.

The Battle for Transfer

The next problem became one of transferring the status of NPR-A from a military preserve under the management of the Navy, which really restricted the economic potential of the area, to public lands status. Public land status would not only open up opportunities for private exploration, but also for the newly-formed Alaska Native Regional and village corporations which were given 20 tax-free years to establish profit-making viability. The state also would be free to select NPR land for its purposes, and the country as a whole needed that energy.

This battle for status transfer was led by the North Slope Borough and the City of Barrow which needed additional land for growth and expansion. For years, the Navy had refused to afford these municipalities a few acres of ground and even prohibited the local people to tap into the gas mains that crisscrossed the back-yards of Barrow.

With all these pressures, it became politically expedient for Congress to pass the Navel Petroleum Reserve Production Act of 1976 which transferred the area into public land status under the jurisdiction of the Department of Interior with the new name: National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska.

NPR-A Management Plan

This Act first of all mandated that the Department of Interior would be in charge of the surface management of the Reserve “With respect to any activities related to the protection of environmental, fish and wildlife, and historical or scenic values” (Sec. 103 [b]). Secondly, Interior was directed to continue the oil exploration program begun by the Navy (Sec. 104 [c]) to identify the oil and gas potentials of the field and to continue and expand the Barrow gas field “or other such fields as may be necessary, to supply gas at reasonable and equitable rates to the native village of Barrow, and other communities and installations at or near Point Barrow.”

Under U.S.G.S; management, this exploration was contracted to Husky Oil. The seismic exploration was to be completed and 26 exploratory wells drilled (a small number, some feel, considering the large area under consideration). The rate at which exploration can take place in the Arctic is about twice as slow as in other areas, not only because of the climate, but also because of the surface protection regulations which require that exploration take place only in winter and only on land with 6 inches of snow cover, among other things.

NPR-A Land Use Studies.

Section 105 of the 1976 Petroleum Reserves Act augments the National Environmental Protection Act by mandating two intensive studies of the reserve. The first (105 [b]) calls for a Presidential study to determine 1. the procedures to be used in the development of petroleum reserves and 2. the economic and environmental impact of such development. The Presidential study must be reported to Congress by January 1, 1980. The Presidential Study is being conducted by the U.S. Geological Service (U.S.G.S.).

Under Sec. 105 (c) of the Act, the Secretary of Interior is called upon to establish a task force “to conduct a study to determine the values of, and the best uses for, the lands contained in the reserve, taking into consideration (A) the natives who live or depend on such lands, (B) the scenic, historical, recreational, fish and wildlife, and wilderness values, (C) mineral potential, and (D) other values of such lands.” The Task Force would be composed not only of various Interior bureaus, but also the government of Alaska, and the Arctic slope native community.

To sum up, four different programs were set up by the Act: the ongoing surface management program conducted by Interior (103 [b]), the oil exploration program (104 [c]), the Presidential study on oil development and impact (105 [b]) and the Task Force Land Use Study (105 [c]). A great deal of coordination between these studies has been organized as shown on page 4.

The Land Use Study Task Force

The Bureau of Land Management has been designated as the study leader of the 105 (c) Task Force and has established a Core Planning Team for the compilation of the study’s reports and seven work groups of interagency composition have been established to conduct field studies. The Panel on Coordination meets in Alaska and reports to the Washington-level Subcommittee on NPR-A of the Alaska Policy Group. It includes representatives of North Slope Borough, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, State of Alaska, as well as U.S.G.S., BLM, and the Office of NPR-A (ONPRA). The organization of the 105 (c) Core Planning Team and Work Groups are seen in Figure 2.

Each one of the study Work Groups is under a leadership of one of the following agencies: Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Bureau of Recreation (BOR), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Mines (BOM), U.S.G.S., and the BLM. Each Work Group is to look into that particular resource and evaluate its management potential. These groups are not to evaluate development impact as such, but rather give descriptive inventory, then put forth its “best use” recommendation for that particular resource.

The Core Planning Team has the responsibility of working with the Work Groups, receiving their recommendations, and identifying the conflicts between them. A barite mine, for example, may interfere with a subsistence activity, a caribou route, or a calving ground. The planning process at that point would include a phase of conflict resolution in which trade-offs may be made. It is at this crucial stage that future management conflicts can be solved: “Which agency does what kind of management, or which resources take precedence regarding a particular resource in a particular area.” Some of these possible management conflicts are extreme when actual scenarios for some areas are reviewed. For example, certain land statuses, such as wild and scenic rivers, may give rise to the possibility of Native activities such as trespass. While the “Wild and Scenic Rivers” designation does not outlaw subsistence activities per se, it may prohibit snow machines during certain times of year, constructing a fish house, ice cellar, or other permanent structure. (The NSB position is that many of these possible conflicts could be avoided by the placing of the entire Borough, including NPR-A, under one land use classification, that of a Wildlife Refuge. This classification is the only one which recognizes and protects subsistence use.)

During the summer of 1977, researchers from the work groups gathered information and began to write field reports. Field work will continue in the summer of 1978. Each work group is to turn over its recommendations to the Core Team which will develop final recommendations. The planning team’s final recommendations will be presented to the Task Force for review. The biggest problem facing the group at this point is not the conflicts which may surface later, but the time-frame. Congress is holding firm to an April, 1979 deadline for completing the study and land-use recommendations. And some feel that the elimination of oil and gas development impact considerations from the Land Use Study (these are to be covered by the Exploration and Presidential Study) makes these studies somewhat unrealistic. Some group may recommend, for example, that a certain area be designated as a Wild and Scenic River which may also be a prime target for oil development, and such a recommendation could be a waste of time.

The final decision on land-use status will be made by Congress which will weigh land-use recommendations against the Presidential Study of the oil and gas potential of the Reserve. Then it will decide on land status designations, resource priorities, management authority designations, and land management scenarios.

Local Concerns About NPR-A Planning

These concerns surfaced at a recent meeting in Anchorage at which members of the Planning Team explained the planning scenario to representatives from the eight North Slope Villages, including those outside the NPR area. The meeting, called “NPR-A – Developing a Land Plan” was organized in large part by Bob Won, NSB representative on the Core Planning Team. The BIA, the chief government agency in charge of exercising U.S. trust responsibilities on behalf of Native rights, came under criticism for not attending the conference.

Among the many issues raised by the Native participants at the meeting were:

  • Lack of adequate Federal funds to insure adequate local participation in the NPR-A studies.
  • Boundary issues need to be settled by Congress.
  • A look at existing leases is needed, with examination of cooperative agreements between Federal, State and local authorities.
  • Native allotments: are they being held up due to concern over control of subsurface rights by Interior officials? Can a recommendation be made which supports early conveyance of these allotments? Is there a recognized Native allotment within NPR-A? Many of these allotment applications are traditional use areas.
  • Can Interior solve the legal problems which are in the way of good planning solutions?
  • What can be done to break down the distrust between government researchers and local residents?

 Local input into the environmental and economic impact studies of the Presidential Study (105 [b]) is insufficient. There should be no meetings of this group without NSB representation.

No work group is looking into subsistence values and use as such, by area, by resource, by season, and by use.

Reporting to the villages has been inadequate and taken lightly in the past. The example was used of Husky Oil falling to report back to Wainwright on drilling plans, exploration results, etc., after promising to do so.

Husky Oil exploration methods were criticized as being out-dated and incomplete, so that, in spite of the environmental risk they entail, they have come up with little information of use for future planning.

The residents feel that exploratory work has adversely affected fish populations in the lakes. What is planned to be done to reestablish these fish populations?

Exploration areas have not been adequately cleaned up after use. Wildlife dens have been destroyed and animals, including caribou, have been caught in seismic wires.

Erosion damage. This is a problem where roads and cat trails have been built during exploration activities.

What is the definition of “wilderness?” Of “recreational use?” These mean different things to subsistence users.

Consideration of Native systems of fish and game management has not been given. It seems that the non-Native view is that the Inupiat take whatever is available without any concepts of conservation and management.

Under what jurisdiction are historical and archaeological sites protected? What assurance is there that minimum disturbances will occur in areas of concern? How will local concerns be taken into consideration in this regard?

The planning time frame seems inadequate for adequate inventory of traditional uses, sites, etc. Local people want local review whenever work that describes their activity and areas is done.

Finally, there should be a guaranteed process of review at the village, ASRC, and NSB levels to determine village and regional concerns over subsistence site disturbance and other concerns prior to any drilling.

NSB Land-Use Study

The proliferation of regulations, the complexity of the planning process, actual exploration activities, and the fear that the land may get “locked-up” have precipitated a response from the North Slope Borough. Under the direction of Flossie Hopson, a series of Traditional Land Use Inventories were started. These were to demonstrate particular areas that are important to local people because of their historic value and present use.

Under the auspices of the NSB Commission on History and Culture and working within the Planning Department, Ms. Hopson began her work. It is significant that the inventories were to include both historic and present use and that the work is being done by the Planning Department of the Borough. Historic and present were viewed as inseparable in terms of land use values. This is. based on the fact that there is a subsistence base to most sites, and that value is enshrined in the “memory culture” of knowledgeable people today – which is activated when resources are available and needed. Shifting resource areas are not discernible in a 1 or 2 year period, but over a lifetime. That is, resource locations fluctuate. Caribou, for example, change their migration routes and grazing areas periodically, fishing areas change with river dynamics and shifting sandbar locations. Only with time depth considerations can these real changes be described and allowances made for adequate protection of native subsistence needs.

Ms. Hopson’s work on the Beaufort Sea and the Wainwright and Nuiqsut areas has already been hailed as of tremendous importance not only for NPR-A planning but for other major North Slope planning programs as well. Her documents have received the approval of the villages and the History and Planning Commissions of the North Slope. It is expected that the other inventories will be forthcoming shortly since this work is well underway in Pt. Lay, Pt. Hope, Anaktuvuk and Barrow-Atkasook.

As the planning process got underway, NSB Planning Director Herb Bartel developed a mechanism involving village-based atlases showing traditional and present-day uses and values. This would provide a synthesis of Native values, both tangible and intangible. These data, narrative and graphic, would contribute to immediate protection of important geographies, and would provide the bases for long-term accommodation of both traditional and modern uses in NPR-A. This “village-atlas” approach had the support of the National Park Service as a way of aiding on-going village-borough planning, and as a means of meeting the land-use plan mandate of the NPR-A Act.

The NSB study project finally evolved as an interdisciplinary team effort that would identify present and future land-use values in a cultural and historical context. This study project, soon to be approved and released by the NSB is the only one of the 105 (c) Land-Use studies that goes directly to the permanent indigenous residents of the land for its data and its perspectives. And it is the only one that requires review at the local level before publication of data. And it is the only study designed to produce data that are ready made for practical use and integration into existing local planning processes of the Borough.

The NSB 105 (c)~Study will not lay down final blueprints for land-use determinations and operations. It will, instead, identify the sorts of stipulations and constraints necessary across the reserve and over the long term. Energy needs are pressing, but the land will be here forever.


Front page caricature of Brigitte Bardot’s anti-seal hunt campaign.
The Greenland Post, caricaturizing film star as “The Sea Mother” – the most important of traditional Greenlandic deities satires the conservationist campaign in Europe on behalf of the harp seal which has already damaged Greenlandic subsistence users.

Harp Seal Controversy
Hits Greenland Hunters

The international campaign to stop the commercial taking of pup harp seals by Newfoundlanders attracted a good deal of attention in Europe this last year as Brigitte Bardot took up the campaign on behalf of the seals. It appears that her efforts and the publicity surrounding the campaign have spilled over to affect Native subsistence hunters in Greenland. Approximately 75% of all Greenlandic families hunt the seal for food and both use and sell the pelts.

On January 24, the Council of Europe, the voluntary regulatory body made up of the foreign ministers and delegates from 20 Western European states, passed a resolution asking member states involved to ban the hunting of the harp seal. On February 17, NSB Mayor Eben Hopson wired the Greenland ministry in Denmark for details, “specifically the jurisdictional authority claimed by the Council of Europe over Greenlandic aboriginal subsistence seal hunting rights.”

On March 9 he received the following reply:

Regarding your Telex of Feb.17, the Parliament assembly of the Council of Europe had on January 24 passed a recommendation on the protection of wildlife and seal hunting to the Committee of Ministers. It is recommended that the ministers invite the member states directly concerned to impose at least a two-year ban on the hunting of harp seals. The situation is not quite analogous to the IWC ban on bowhead subsistence whaling. Firstly, the recommendation is not aimed directly at seal hunting in Greenland. Secondly, the recommendation will not be passed by the Committee of Ministers because unanimity is required. Thirdly, the recommendation is not binding in any case for governments involved. The harp seal hunting in Greenland will not be banned. However, the resolution and the publicity around it will probably have an adverse affect for Greenlandic hunters to the extent that it will contribute to the campaign against seal furs. The campaign has already had negative influence on seal skin prices at Oxon’s last year. This ministry will continue to inform the public that this effect is unreasonable, and that the seal hunt is vital to the subsistence and culture of Greenlandic hunters. Kindest regards. The Ministry of Greenland.

0MB Tries to Renege
on Barrow Gas Field
Development-Public Danger Cited

When the North Slope Borough was invited to participate in the drafting of the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976, Mayor Eben Hopson used the opportunity to push successfully for transfer to Naval Petroleum Reserve 4 from the Navy to the Department of Interior, and to insure the Barrow gas fields would be developed as a reliable, long range fuel source for Barrow and the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, and Title I of the Petroleum Research Act specifically directs the Government to do so. Accordingly, $13 million was included in NPR-A exploration budget appropriations for FY 1979 for East Barrow gas field development.

Now, the NSB has learned the President’s Office of Management and Budget (0MB) has withheld the $13 million until a new gas distribution system is constructed for Barrow at an estimated cost of $10 million. 0MB wants the NSB to pay.

On February 7, Eben Hopson joined officials and attorneys of Barrow’s utility cooperative in Washington, D.C. to meet DOI officials about the problem. In a follow up letter to assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Forrest Gerard, NSB D.C. Legal Counsel William VanNess charged that “OMB’S action in holding hostage the funding for development of the East Barrow field… contravenes Federal law . . . and presents a serious potential hazard to the reliability of gas service in the Barrow area.”

This continues a dispute, beginning shortly after WWII when the Navy brought in the South Barrow gas field, connected Barrow’s federal facilities to gas, and refused to connect Barrow homes until forced to do so by Congress after a 12 year struggle. In 1957, the Bureau of Indian Affairs gerry-rigged a temporary leaky gas distribution system that is still in use today, and has been condemned as unsafe.

Throughout the years, the BIA retained title to Barrow’s gas system which was operated by the Barrow Utility and Electrical Cooperative, Inc., originally organized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

When the NSB was organized, it began negotiating with the BIA to take over ownership and operation of BIA properties in Barrow, including the Barrow School, and Utility Plant. Both had been allowed to deteriorate badly, and the BIA agreed to bring both up to modern safety standards. Then all three parties signed the tri-party agreement which provided the BIA would pay to modernize Barrow’s gas works, after which the NSB would take ownership of the new system and the Barrow Utility Coop would operate it. But BIA began to quibble about costs, and failed to carry out the agreement, and it now appears the government has disavowed the two-party agreement, and is insisting the NSB come up with the $10-$12 million it will take to rebuild a new system. Now 0MB is taking the position that East Barrow Gas field development will be delayed until the NSB ponies up the money promised by the BIA.

This entire affair underscores the shabby treatment the Federal government has historically given the people of Barrow and the entire Arctic Slope, and the rusting, leaking Barrow gas works is a vivid symbol of Federal fecklessness endangering both the people and the land of Alaska’s Arctic Coast.

Now, rather than meet its long-standing responsibilities, the government is compounding the danger to public safety in Barrow by holding up East Barrow gas field development. Knowledgeable gas field engineers have quietly warned NSB officials that South Barrow gas field well No.6, which produces 40%-60% of Barrow’s entire. gas supply, is in danger of water intrusion, and there is a serious need to bring recently discovered East Barrow gas reserves into production to enable the reworking of old South Barrow wells. Barrow depends completely upon gas. There are no fuel oil reserves. If the endangered South Barrow well No.6 goes down, lives will be lost.

Native Leaders Support
Federal Subsistence Provisions

Some 200 members of the Association of Village Council Presidents met in Bethel Feb. 25-26 to discuss legislation regarding subsistence and the future of fish and wildlife management in Alaska.

Recognizing the need to protect subsistence, Rep. Steve Cowper, chairman of the powerful legislative D-2 Steering Council on Alaska Lands, told the Bethel meeting the language in Title VII of the draft d-2 bill of HR- 39 (which establishes Federal guidelines for protecting subsistence use) “is about as good as we can get,” he said. “The people here have unwritten laws among themselves. Subsistence is a matter of need versus greed, and we should be able to draw the law along those lines.”

Cowper also drew a good response when he told the AVCP Caucus he would support legislation requiring all subsistence needs of an area to be met before foreign hunters are allowed to take fish and game. Cowper also said the Dept. of Fish and Game should use local residents in making decisions affecting subsistence.

NSB Mayor Eben Hopson also addressed the group saying that conditions have improved for Native peoples. Section 4 (b) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which attempted to extinguish Native subsistence rights “was the last gasp of the 1950’s when Native rights extinguishment was being pushed by the Eisenhower administration as a final solution to the ‘Indian problem.’ Today our subsistence rights are viewed as important constitutional rights in the United States, and as essential human rights by people all over the world who are closer to us now because of modern communications technology, and they look to the United States to establish high standards of justice for Native indigenous people all over the world…

“With the encouragement of the Federal government, we organized the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission to conserve bowhead stocks, and control and regulate all aspects of the bowhead harvest… Thus, we have established the first cooperative management regime for a single endangered migratory subsistence species, a regime entirely under Native control of subsistence hunters, but cooperating with State and Federal agencies.

“No longer can we stand aside and complain and advise the government. No more can we enjoy the luxury of serving on advisory committees while letting others make the hard decisions. We are being turned to, to make these hard decisions for ourselves, as well as for our State and Nation. Our management of Alaska’s subsistence resources must be undertaken in the cold context of world hunger. We will be managing food as food becomes scarce all over the world. As the world becomes more crowded and hungry, our management of our game, our stewardship over oil land will come under increasingly critical attention. .

“Phase II of our land claims movement will be village-centered, and it will be the strongest and most effective part of our land claims movement. Working together, we will exercise an effective stewardship over our land, and we will prevail.”

State, Interior Sign Beaufort Agreement-
Nominations Called for

A “Memorandum of Understanding” was signed early March by Cecil Andrus, Secretary of Interior and Jay Hammond, on cooperative plans for the joint lease sale of oil tracts in the outer continental shelf of the Beaufort Sea. The agreement covers the administration of areas now under dispute between the State and the Federal government. The dispute has to do with whether state ownership is to be measured from the shore or from the “Lagoon Islands.” The Memorandum allows the sale to proceed before the dispute is resolved in court.

“As a rule,” the agreement reads, “cost associated with disputed lands will initially be paid by the Federal Government. Subsequent to the& signing of this agreement, a Federal-State task force will be formed to work out procedures for reimbursement of costs, including interest as appropriate.”

About 650,000 acres of submerged land in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s north coast is being considered for the sale, scheduled to take place Dec. 1979. About 68 percent of the land is under state jurisdiction and 19 percent federal. Ownership of the remaining 13 percent is disputed. The lease area is located about 50 miles east of Prudhoe Bay around a group of Lagoon Islands about 6 miles offshore. Both State and Federal governments claim parts of the seabed between the coast and the islands.

The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that the acreage may contain up to 3.9 billion barrels of oil, as compared to Prudhoe Bay’s 10 billion.

On March 10, the Dept. of Interior and the State jointly announced the “Call for Nominations” by which members of the oil industry can indicate on which tracts they would be interested in bidding, without committing themselves to a purchase. In this manner, the government can eliminate unwanted tracts of land from the lease sale. The tracts finally chosen for bid will be selected by the U.S.G.S. and the State’s Minerals and Energy Management Division.

Environmental considerations may yet delay the sale in spite of the momentum engendered by these decisions. Under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act, a complete Environmental Impact Statement must be filed by Interior for the sale to take place. With the call for nominations made, hearings are soon to be announced for input from the public. Scientists responsible for the environmental study are reported to need another 18 months for the completion of the study of fish migrations in the area and other aspects of the ecosystem.

The Planning Office of NSB has filed its own stipulations for the sale questioning the time-table and making other recommendations. It was emphasized that the exploration and development plan must be consistent with an adopted Coastal Management Plan,

and that various departments of the Borough be integrated into all matters regarding Surface Use Restrictions, Archaeological and Historical Sites, and the rights of inspection.

Labrador Resource
Publications Available

“We are determined that we as residents of the territory will have a much larger part in seeing that the costs and benefits of resource development are more equally shared. We start by condemning the view that Labrador, and the Canadian North generally, is a chilly warehouse of resources for the urban, industrial heartland of the continent.”

The momentum and direction of the New Labrador Party, written of in our last newsletter, has been channeled today into a multitude of local and ethnic development organizations. These groups work separately for the interests of their members, but are united through seats on the Labrador Resources Advisory Council.

The role of this body, founded in 1976 is to speak for the rights of Labradorians on resource issues, to protect a lifestyle based on land and marine resources against the impact of massive industrial projects, and to give Labradorians a platform from which to call government and public attention to the more urgent issues of land use and development.

Readers interested in the development of Labrador resources should obtain a copy of the pamphlet, “As If People Mattered – Resource Issues in Labrador” from Labrador Resources Council, P.O. Box 430, Happy Valley, Labrador.

NSB Officials Blast
Public Haul Road Use

(Ed. Note: The following is excerpted from NSB Mayor Eben Hopson’s testimony before the Special Joint Senate/House legislative Committee on the North Slope Haul Road, March 9, 1978. The state legislature is considering opening up the haul road used to build the Trans-Alaska Pipeline for public use.)

The main reason I traveled over 1,100 miles from Barrow to appear here today is to tell you that the North Slope Borough strongly opposes a forced opening of the Haul Road north of the Yukon to the general public. Such an opening would be a fiscal and environmental nightmare, not only for Borough residents but for all the people of this State.

Even though the Borough has been in existence for only about six years, we are experts in Arctic road construction and maintenance. The Borough has already spent over $7 million in capital funds and about $1 million a year in operating funds to build and maintain roads in our eight communities. We are virtually on our own in this effort. Despite repeated requests from the Borough, the State has yet to fund one mile of designated State secondary system roads in our communities. And then some of you have the nerve to seriously propose that the State now spend around $20 million next year alone, just to construct facilities and maintain the Haul Road as a wide-open public road … this in a State which now allocates only some $50 million to maintain its entire highway system.

We have doubts whether the State has accurately anticipated all of the cost differences between restricted industrial and wide-open public use. However, even using the figures we have been given, it would cost around a million dollars a year more to open the road to the general public. And, we still haven’t seen any firm financial commitment by anyone to provide all the necessary facilities and services demanded by the traveling public, especially in a harsh, remote area.

None of the cost estimates to date have considered schools, public safety, planning or other municipal services for communities which might spring up along the road if it is opened to the general public. The Fairbanks Industrial Commission report on Haul Road costs estimated that 50 percent of those who would occupy Haul Road maintenance camps would be Families. Will the Fairbanks North Star Borough send teachers up and down the road to Prudhoe Bay to teach the children of these families? Will the State send them? What about their garbage, their utility needs, their public safety needs, their emergency health care needs? The North Slope Borough already has a capital improvements program of over $150 million just to meet the basic health, safety and support facilities of its communities. This follows years and years of relative State and Federal neglect of our area. And now the State wants to stimulate costly new communities along a new public road.

While we are talking about money, let’s talk some more about well-planned and well-maintained transportation systems. We noted with alarm some State and Federal reports which indicated that national energy development has seriously damaged existing Alaska highways and further that, according to the Federal Government, “. . . Repair and Restoration of the damaged highways is not a Federal responsibility . .” For example, apparently a 1976 review of pipeline-related highway impacts showed that $55 million was needed for immediate highway repair and $300 million for restoration. Now, if the Federal Government doesn’t supply all or part of this money, where will it come from? How can the State adequately maintain its existing roads and still discuss a new capital, a permanent fund and other major expenditures, not to mention this new forced wide-open public use of the Haul Road? Please tell me where all the money is coming from. If the North Slope Borough practiced such poor financial and project planning, we’d have been broke long ago.

Now, let’s discuss some of the cultural and environmental disasters involved in punching open this road through the Borough. The people of Anaktuvuk Pass already report a substantial influx of outside campers and hunters arriving by air each summer: as many as 10 planes a day land at the village. The people camp right near the town and go off hunting or disturbing subsistence and historical sites without even checking with the village residents. If the road was opened to the general public, we would see unprecedented numbers of people flocking all over the landscape. We have enough problems already trying to control those who arrive by air. What guarantees can the State and the Bureau of Land Management give us that the Haul Road and its adjacent areas will be fully patrolled, that all relevant laws will be enforced and that wildlife and traditional sites will be fully protected? Who will arrest poachers, pick up all the litter and promptly remove wrecked and abandoned vehicles?

We are concerned about the effects of the Haul Road and pipeline on our caribou migration. We are already seeing reports of Haul Road corridor-related fragmentation of caribou groups and interference with normal group formation. There are also documented reports of less frequent caribou sightings in the area of the road. Can anyone seriously suggest that a forced opening of the road to the general public would do anything but further deplete our subsistence resources, such as the caribou which is already an endangered species?

I will conclude with some positive policies we propose for the road in the interests of responsive local government and proper transportation planning:

1. We say limit the road to industrial use, possibly on a seasonal basis, and limit public access to a controlled tour bus operation, such as the one being proposed by the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation.

2. As the gas-line is completed, we recommend full consideration of designation of the Haul Road area as a living cultural park, with full subsistence rights for our village residents and with a single cooperative management system designed to protect and enhance the Native cultures. Significant parts of the oil and gas pipelines could also be noted and protected as historic resources. We could preserve the transportation history of the corridor, starting with migrations from thousands of years ago and running right down to modern day national energy development. The Borough is working with BLM, the Park Service and the State to further explore this idea. Access to the cultural park could still be by controlled tour bus or by hiking, boat or air under careful planning and management.

3. Once it is determined that the industrial-use period of the road is complete, or that the road is no longer essential to industrial use, we recommend consideration of total closure and full restoration of the area to its natural state.

As a matter for sound State and national Arctic policy, roads such as the Haul Road should be seen as a threat to national Arctic environmental security and, whenever possible, air and barge transportation should be used exclusively to supply Prudhoe Bay and the pipeline. The State and Federal Governments should actively discourage even unnecessary industrial traffic on the Haul Road.

4. No matter what happens with the road, we insist on full State and Federal compliance an cooperation with our zoning along the road and with subsequent historical preservation and master streets and routes plans which we will prepare for the area. We are a strong home rule borough and will make full use of our powers to protect our interests. We are also considering a time-phased airport and road construction ordinance which will require the State to check with us and phase all future airport and road improvements with the needs and priorities of our villages.

5. We have noted one line of thought . . . that the road has to be punched wide-open to all public motorists because of Federal contributions of gravel: Over $2 million. I have already written the Governor and suggested the Borough might be able to use some of its capital improvements funds to help buy back gravel and other Federal investments in the road as a way of maintaining control and ensuring proper planning and environmental protection. We have been working steadily with BLM and the State on an overall master plan for the road area so we already have a record of initiating and participating in sound transportation planning efforts which has been clear and consistent over a long period of time.

I hope you will now start to treat the North Slope Borough seriously as a full-fledged home rule government, and take our position and our policies to heart. Fortunately, in this case at least, going along with the Borough makes clear economic and environmental sense for the State as a whole. We should all stop and wonder how it is that the oil industry has been able to manipulate us here, all grown adults, into seriously considering maintaining their ill-advised road to Prudhoe Bay as a public highway. How much harm are we willing to allow the industry to inflict upon us in Alaska?

(Ed. Note: The following testimony was entered on the same occasion by Elise Patkotak, Director of NSB Dept. of Health and Social Services.)

As director of the North Slope Borough Health and Social Services Department, I know that the problem of emergency care delivery along the road has not been addressed, but would be the responsibility of the North Slope Borough. The road poses great personal danger to any public user because any normal problem becomes a crisis when emergency care is not available. I am particularly troubled by the thought of bus loads of elderly tourists lured into touring the Arctic where emergency care will not be available to them.

Since we presently do not have the funding necessary for adequate emergency care in our villages, it is difficult to see how we can fund emergency care to haul road traffic. So far as I know, no health service agency in Alaska has addressed this problem, and this contains in my mind the fact that some of the most basic social problems created by opening the oil industry’s work road to Prudhoe Bay for public use and maintenance have not been considered or addressed.



The 16 mm. color-sound 8-minute film on Inupiat aboriginal subsistence bowhead whaling has proven to be a valuable tool in fighting the IWC bowhead moratorium and also in making the case for conserving subsistence aboriginal lifestyles. The film is on loan for free and is also available for purchase for $50.00. It is also available in 35 mm. and Super-8 sound prints. Those wishing to show or review the film should contact Whaling Film, 610 H St., Anchorage, Alaska 99501. Phone: 907/274-2414


After a painful struggle lasting 5 years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) and the NSB completed the development of 70 new homes and apartments for Barrow’s low income families, and DHUD’s Indian Public Housing Program began operations for the first time on the Arctic Slope. On February 15th, Monroe Watson, DHUD Seattle Regional Administrator for Public Housing, completed a transaction through which the NSB sold 70 housing units to the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) Housing Authority, established to administer DHUD’s Indian Public Housing Program with the Borough.

The NSB housing development program has been the most important and successful part of its $140 million village Capital Improvement Program that is being fought by the oil industry. The stay of the Borough’s housing program illustrates the power local government can use to solve serious social problems in rural Alaska. According to a recent survey completed recently for DHUD, fully 90% of all housing in rural Alaska is substandard by the most minimum U.S. standards for decent housing, and NSB villages are no exception. As soon as it could fight its way through the legal flock of the organized oil industrial tax-payers of Prudhoe Bay, who welcomed local government to the Arctic by suing the State of Alaska to stop the NSB’s incorporation, the Borough sold $13.7 million in municipal bonds to finance the construction of public housing for its low income families, hard-pressed by the oil-crazed inflation of the Arctic, and over crowded in small one and two room homes. Tourists in Barrow call them “shacks.” Housing was the single greatest social problem on the Arctic Slope in 1972, and both the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and the North Slope Borough responded.

The Arctic Slope Regional Corporation constructed new homes in Nuiqsut and Pt. Lay, and provided stores and electricity to these communities in a program to resettle these two traditional villages to participate in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

The ASRC built small homes which were not designed to DHUD standards for public housing. They were well-constructed with open interiors that afforded flexible use, and which could be divided into rooms later. The idea was to provide adequate inexpensive housing for Pt. Lay and Nuiqsut ASRC stockholders as quickly as possible.

The NSB housing program had to wait until oil industrial efforts to scuttle Borough organization in the courts. When the industry lost in court the Borough’s Prudhoe Bay taxpayers went to the Legislature where they were able only to limit the Borough’s Prudhoe Bay tax revenue authority. After the 1973 special session, NSB officials met with industrial lawyers and executives to agree that the oil industry would allow the NSB to conduct a 5-year, $140 million village capital improvement program to be financed by the sale of municipal bonds, and the first sale, held on May 1, 1975, provided $300,000 to launch the NSB’s public housing program.

NSB officials knew that government public housing programs in rural Alaska were risky business. One of the success stories came out of the Tlingit-Haida Housing Authority which built new homes for low income and elderly people in Southeast Alaska. Designed to DHUD public housing standards these units were of panelized construction, and were quickly built with an impressive amount of local labor. They had been designed and built by an architect-builder who had long specialized in public housing and who had learned how to steer projects successfully through the red tape at DHUD.

Using the same approach, the NSB embarked on an ambitious and realistic $75 million housing program involving 667 units, 136 of which have been completed. Three hundred of these projected units are intended for low-rent public housing. The rest of these units will be used for teacher and staff housing and private sale.

NSB engages in home-building program.

Putting municipal bonding to creative use,
NSB in its capital improvements program has
undertaken construction of 667 housing
units in the Arctic. One of the completed units is seen above



Since its organization in September, 1978, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission has been seeking the deployment of marine acoustics technology to determine the true population of bowhead whales, and to follow the health and welfare of the bowhead throughout its range. But the Federal Government has not been very responsive as the National Marine Fisheries Service seems to have been unable to break out of the hold upon it maintained by the politics of commercial fisheries and its academic establishment with no competence to deal intelligently with subsistence whaling. So while the Inupiat whalers were disappointed with the NMFS’s failure to go underwater for bowhead research, it was cheered by news that NARL’s Technical Director, Dr. John Kelley, an oceanographer/meteriologist, has been chairing an inter -disciplinary bio-acoustics seminar group for the past eight months to explore the potential uses of sonar as a technique to investigate distribution and movement of marine biota ranging in size from plankton to mammals in the Arctic Ocean. NARL scientists have been joined by Alaska Department of Fish and Game personnel, and the group is planning to deploy a Wesmar Model S5230 scanning sonar in an experiment that will be aimed at species surveillance of seals and whales this spring. The experiment will be a cooperative effort led by NARL’s Roy Nageak and Ray Dronenberg, and may also involve the emplacement of sonar buoys now in storage at N AR L. There is hope and speculation that this experiment will lead to the development of a permanent, in-house bio-acoustics research program at NARL able to connect the AEWC to a full-time program leading to individual voice printing of all migrating whales passing the research laboratory, and progressing on to pioneer inter-species communications in the management of migratory sea-mammal species. NMFS also plans to experiment with sonar, but little is known about their plans, and the whalers are wondering if NMFS is all that interested in going underwater to learn more about the bowhead.

Federal Whaling Regs Published
Whalers Reject Licensing Provisions

In late February, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published proposed regulations for the taking of the bowhead whale by Alaskan Natives for subsistence use. Comments on the proposed regulations are to be delivered to NMFS, before March 20.

As reported in the last issue of the newsletter, it seemed that some sort of a truce had been worked out between Alaskan whalers and NMFS. Responding to this new era of cooperation, NSB Fish and Game Commissioner Dale Stotts spent the following month in Washington, D.C. hammering out the details of the regulations and pinning down various government and conservationist bodies on their commitment to that cooperation. A large part of his efforts centered on convincing those concerned that the whalers would not accept the imposition of any licensing procedures on the grounds that the government has no licensing authority over aboriginal subsistence hunting. Licensing for the purpose of taking wildlife has always been strictly limited to sport hunting and fishing.

It came as quite a surprise, after these understandings and commitments had been reached, that NMFS went ahead and included an extended provision for licensing in the proposed regs. The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission quickly responded at a Barrow meeting, March 10 and 11, at which they rejected the licensing section (230.78 and related provisions).

In their comments returned to Washington, D.C.., the AEWC recommended that registration of the whaling captains be substituted for licensing as a way of avoiding conflict with aboriginal hunting rights. A response is expected from NMFS authorities within a few days.

Once agreed upon, the proposed regulations will be attached as a special “Native Subsistence” section to the regulations authorized by the Whaling Convention Act, by which the U.S. enforces domestically its obligations under the Convention of the International Whaling Commission. The regulations will be enforced until December 31 of this year. Among the other provisions are the following.

The quota of 12 taken or 18 struck is to be distributed among the following villages in this manner:

Kaktovik — 1 landed or 2 struck, whichever occurs first

Nuiqsut — 1 landed or 2 struck, whichever occurs first

Barrow — 3 landed or 3 struck, whichever occurs first

Wainwright — 2 landed or 2 struck, whichever occurs first

Point Hope — 2 landed or 2 struck, whichever occurs first

Kivalina — 1 landed or 2 struck, whichever occurs first

Gambell — 1 landed or 2 struck, whichever occurs first

Savoonga — 1 landed or 2 struck, whichever occurs first

Wales — 0 landed or 0 struck, whichever occurs first

If for any reason the landing or struck quota for a village is not reached, the unused part of the quota may be assigned to another village. The remaining strike may be allocated upon consultation with the Whalers.

Prohibited Acts

  • No calves are to be taken or any bowhead whale accompanied by a calf.
  • No whaling captain shall engage in whaling in a wasteful manner.
  • No whaling captain shall continue to whale after his village’s quota is reached.
  • No whaling captain shall engage in whaling with a harpoon, lance, or explosive dart which does not have permanently affixed thereto or engraved thereon the distinctive marking to identify the captain as the owner thereof.
  • Dead, unclaimed whales (stinkers) that are landed and salvaged will not be counted as a landed whale.
  • Within 12 hours of landing or striking of a bowhead, the whaling captain is to file an oral or written report giving the details of the event. The same will hold for the salvaging of stinkers.
  • Penalties

    Except for reporting and record keeping violations, the Whaling Convention Act prescribes criminal penalties for violations of these regulations: up to $10,000 fine or up to one year in jail, or both. Further, a court may prohibit a violator from whaling for an indefinite period, and/or may order forfeited in whole or part any whales taken or benefit derived therefrom.


    After four years in construction at a cost of $6 million, the environmental health engineers of the Alaska Native Health Service marked the completion of Barrow’s first public pure water source in ceremonies conducted February 15th, 1978. The project included the construction of a dam to convert a tidal lagoon into a fresh water lake; the construction of a water line from the lake into Barrow; the fabrication of a large capacity reverse osmosis water purification system, and the construction of a 600,000 gallon community water storage tank.

    This was Phase I of Barrow’s water utility project. Phase II will include the construction of a water and sewer distribution system, and a sewage treatment facility, but Federal funds have not yet been appropriated for Phase II, nor has it been designed.

    In his remarks made at ceremonies marking the completion of Phase I, NSB Mayor Eben Hopson likened the new watering point to a new village well in a poor underdeveloped nation, but he observed that the U.S. is not a poor underdeveloped nation, and the fact that Barrow does not yet have running water and flush toilets, and suffers poor environmental health conditions, illustrates how far the U.S. must go to overcome its historic neglect and unequal treatment of the Arctic.

    The dedication of Phase I was attended by U.S.; Senator Ted Stevens and Dr. Emery Johnson, Director of the Indian Health Service, but neither made any commitment about funding Phase II. Until Phase II is completed, Barrow residents will continue to have water delivered from their new water point to their homes at a cost of 16 cents per gallon. Water is generally stored in old oil barrels in most homes in Barrow, and most families still use “honey buckets” for indoor waste collection and disposal.


U.S. Senator Ted Stevens
Inspects Barrow Water Facility.

Accompanied by N.S.B. Mayor Eben Hopson,
Senator Stevens tours the new $6 million
water project which provides the community with its
first public pure water source. The next stage of
development will include a distribution and sewage system for the community.

Second National Workshop

“Given the wrong toss of the dice in the Middle East or Venezuela, given a few days of austerity on the east coast of North America, and we’ll be into the North. The industrial juggernaut of this continent will crave satisfaction from a land where rape will be a cliche. In the north, we face a grinding trade-off of rights, responsibilities, and interests.”

These prophetic words, written in 1971 by A.W.R. Carrothers concerning political development in the Northwest Territories, seemed to hang over and haunt the “Second National Workshop on People, Resources, and the Environment North of 60 degrees” organized in Edmonton, Alberta, February 20-28, by the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee.

Much of the conference seemed foreboding to the few Natives who attended. It was being held not in the North, but in Edmonton, industry’s jumping-off place for its northern operations. The conference was loudly condemned, even in the local press, for the absence of key federal and provincial government personnel, for workshops and panels dominated by high-powered academic personnel, often limiting the participation of Natives who were not able to pay the $75 conference fee, for the absence of important Native leaders from the Yukon and N.Y.T., and especially for the inability of the conference to address itself to new issues and any significant initiatives.

CARC leadership challenged on land claims issue.

Bob Overvault of the Dene Nation in Canada,
says that the Canadian Arctic Resource Committee
will lose credibility with Canadian Natives unless
a stronger commitment is made to land claims.
Here he addresses the plenary session of the CARC conference in Edmonton.


A Crisis for CARC

This last issue caused many to question the leadership of CARC itself, and challenged that leadership during the conference to declare its position on issues facing Northern Natives. The Canadian Arctic Resources Committee was formed as a private, non-profit public interest group in 1971 in Ottawa by a group of scientists, lawyers, and businessmen who were concerned that Canada was committing itself to the industrial development of the North without knowing what was going on. They were even more concerned that the decision makers, a small powerful group of senior officials in the federal government and the petroleum industry, were actively discouraging public discussion of northern development issues.

In 1972, CARC set out to break this embargo on public discussion by holding its first conference on “People, Resources, and the Environment North of 6O degrees~” at Carleton University. The excellent results of that conference were published in a book, Arctic Alternatives which is still available from CARC. They also began publishing a regular newsletter, Northern Perspectives.

In 1973, CARC, at the request of Native organizations, sent a resource worker to Native organizations and northern communities to prepare reports and briefs on environmental and land-use problems and to make them available to Band and Settlement Councils, thereby opening the way for Native people to themselves get involved in the planning process. In the spring of 1974, the Federal government appointed the “Berger Commission” to inquire into the social, environmental, and regional economic impact of the proposed Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline. CARC played the leading role in forming a group to provide scientific and technical support in the hearings to both Native and environmental organizations.

Drury Commission Discredited

But, since that time, Native groups of the North have become highly politicized, and CARC seems to have backed off. The Inuit and Dene Nations have put forth land claims which emphasize aboriginal sovereignty and the rights of Natives to govern their own affairs in their own way. Ottawa, already traumatized by the Quebec situation, does not look favorably on these developments which it regards as separatist. A new commission was appointed, under former president of the treasury board, C. M. (Bud) Drury to investigate the movement of the N.W.T. toward provincial status. The Natives claim the commission was set up to undermine land claims and have boycotted participation in the commission. “We’re not going to be pushed into a situation of compromising our own position by legitimizing the Drury Commission,” said Steve Kakfwi, vice-president of the Indian Brotherhood of the Northwest Territories. Peter Ittinuar of the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada said ITC is also boycotting the commission because it is weakening its land claims position, but that future talks were possible.

Peter Ittinuar, at the plenary session at the end of the conference, challenged the CARC officials to take a stand on Native land claims and proposed that the meeting vote to ask that the Drury Commission be dissolved. The vote was not taken. Repeatedly during the conference, CARC leadership was challenged to declare its own specific positions on the land claims issues. “If we did that,” replied CARC chairman Dr. Andrew Thompson, “we wouldn’t be able to do our main job of getting the issues out in the open.” In his remarks at the end of the session he went on to explain, “We have never from the beginning assumed that we were going to stand up and tell anybody that we were going to try to take a political leadership role, for that is the job of the people for whom it is intimate. It is the work of the Dene organization, the ITC, the Metis association, COPE, the Yukon Indians, and the work of the Yukon legislative assembly and others. We felt, though, that CARC has a very important role. When we saw the pipeline thing first going, we saw a very narrow partnership between government specialists and people in the industry and nobody was getting a look in. The purpose of our first workshop was to open a window on the North. We have at least provided a forum by which the views expressed here could be presented to the press and heard around the country.”

While some Native representatives said that CARC had lost all credibility with the Natives, others took another view. Rick Hardy of the Metis Association of the NWT said CARC had at least managed to do what Northerners could not – to get them sitting at a common table. “CARC is the first group that brought these points of view together and CARC will gain nothing by backing a particular point of view.” He said he hoped Northerners would be able to continue talking together when they returned home.


Inuit representative challenges CARC conference.
Peter Ittinuar of the Inuit Tapirsat of Canada, left, with translator Ian Curry, calls for a vote condemning the Drury Commission which Natives consider undermining Native land claims.

Canadian Native Land Claims

Connie Hunt, a University of Calgary law professor, delivered a paper on land claims and said northern resources cannot be discussed without reference to Native land claims. She said the purpose of land claims settlements must be clearly defined before a proper settlement can be made. In Canada’s North, the Canadian government seems to be doing everything to promote large-scale development and at the same time wants to maintain the native way of life. She said both the federal government and native positions on land claims have become more flexible in the past few years arid that areas of common ground should be explored.

The second evening of the conference in a meeting open to the public, an all-Native panel expressed their views on the current status of Canadian land claims negotiations. While the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the James Bay Agreement were applauded as important developments in the establishment of Native rights, the six spokesmen agreed that their groups would not accept the type of compromises included in those settlements.

George Manuel, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and chairman of the panel, said he is “scared” of the type of compromise reached in the James Bay Agreement because of the history of past agreements between Native people and the government. This 1977 agreement – the first major Canadian land claims settlement in modern times – provided the Cree and Inuit with a cash settlement of $225 million and ownership of parcels of land and some development provisions. In exchange, the native groups gave up claims to more than one-half of Quebec’s land.

Joe Jack, vice-chairman of the Council of Yukon Indians said his own group is most disheartened with federal insistence on the James Bay precedent and with federal attempts to force native people into “token positions” in the Yukon administration.

Panelist Steve Kakfwi of Northwest Territories Indian Brotherhood said his group will hold out for full recognition of the NWT Dene nation. “We have our own language, our own land, our own way of worship,” he explained, “our own economic system, our own educational system, our own political system, and our own way of deciding amongst ourselves the laws by which we want to live and deal with each other individually.

“There has been a lot of criticism of our not being ready to compromise, calling our position extreme. Our position has been the same throughout history. Since the European people first came into this land, we know what they have done not only to people here and in the United States, but also elsewhere in the world. They have fragmented nations and colonized peoples. We see that in Canada nations have been broken up into little bands on little reservations and the collective spirit of the Native people systematically broken. . . As a nation which is supported by international law, we have a right to self-determination and to choose the kind of political institutions with which to govern ourselves. . . Our position is that in order to survive politically as a nation, we need a strong economic base, and we must focus ultimately on renewable resources controlled by the community.”

Stan Napoleon of the Union of British Columbia Chiefs said large-scale developments, including a proposed Alaska Highway pipeline, are threatening to crush the Cree and Beaver people of the Peace River country. “We’re not going to go down, not that easy, not this time,” he said.

Joe Mercredi of Northwest Territories and Non-Status Indian Association said Native groups of the Mackenzie corridor should be granted land claims recognition so that they can exercise self-determination. Such a recognition would be the basis “of a new and resourceful relationship between us and other Canadians,” he said.

Panelist Peter Ittinuar of the I.T.C., the national organization of Canadian Eskimos, explained that the I.T.C. was founded in 1971 in response to environmental concerns generated by the prospect of industrial development in the North. But they soon realized that only through a land claims settlement would the environment and other Inuit interests be secured. Only by this means could the Inuit establish self-determination “within the framework of Canadian society.”

Natives hold land claims meeting at CARC conference.
At a special meeting open to the public Native representatives discuss the status of Canadian Native land claim& Left to right are Steve Kakfwi, Indian Brotherhood of Northwest Territories; Stan Napoleon, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs; Joe Jack, Council of Yukon Indians; moderator George Manuel of Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs; Peter Ittinuar, Inuit Tapirisat of Canada and his translator Ian Curry; and Joe Mercredi. N.W.T. Metis Association.

Renewable Resources Workshops

A problem that came up repeatedly in these workshops was the political question, “Whose resources are to be managed?” There was reluctance on the part of the leaders of these panels to accept the proposal that all “uses” of renewable and wildlife resources are human uses and that the traditional use of those resources by Native peoples establishes a prior claim on those resources. Even though a consensus on this point was reached in the “Caribou: Management of a Vital Resource” workshop, Chairman W. Winston Mair of Victoria failed to record this consensus in his draft report to CARC. The failure to establish priorities in the management of renewable resources was cited in the paper delivered on Caribou management by Lorraine Allison as a chief obstacle to effective management.

Ms. Allison also brought up the controversy surrounding Native control of renewable resources:

The Native people of the N.W.T. and Yukon claim a prior right to wildlife resources. Through their land claims they wish to perpetuate this right by having first priority for use of the resource in some areas, exclusive use in other regions, and control of game management over vast tracts of land. Control of game and game laws are considered essential to the development and maintenance of a traditionally based economy.

With regard to the impact of industrial development on the caribou population, she argued, “Although industrial activities do not kill caribou directly, any interference with caribou which does occur will have to be offset by a reduction in human harvest. It might be argued that in many areas industry has in effect gained the right to an unspecified proportion of the harvestable surplus of caribou.”


Arctic Marine Locomotive unveiled at CARC conference

Billed as the “world’s most powerful ice-breaker,” the great 45,000-ton ship would enable companies to break through ice over 100 feet thick and carry out Arctic oil and gas drilling operations throughout the year and establish “a Canadian presence” in the Arctic.

The Arctic Juggernaut

In the Arctic Marine Transport workshop, industry unveiled its plans to build a giant ice-breaker which could carry out year-round drilling in the Arctic Sea. Plans for the 45,000 ton icebreaker, called the Arctic Marine Locomotive, were described by Bengt Johansson, Dome’s director of marine systems. There were several suggestions by panelists that the federal government cooperate with industry in constructing the $125 million ship in order to secure a year-round Canadian “presence” in the Arctic and securing sovereignty there. The government would have use of the AML one-third of the time for research, while Dome would use it the rest of the time for carrying out its program of gas and oil development.

Billed as “The World’s Most Powerful Icebreaker,” the ship would have a 150,000 horsepower engine and three 5-blade 26-foot propellers, of 100 tons each. The icebreaker is 530 feet long and 100 feet wide and would have the capability of penetrating all ice formations in the Arctic with the exceptions of icebergs and ice islands. This means that the AML would have year-round capabilities of traveling anywhere in the Arctic Islands and along the North Slope.

Marine Transport of Arctic Gas

Another suggestion coming out of the Arctic Marine Transport workshop was the reconsideration of using ice-strengthened liquified natural gas tankers to transport natural gas out of the Arctic.

“Before any major decisions are made on moving polar gas by pipeline this mode (ships) needs to be examined,” said Bill Stuart, a Petro-Canada consultant.

Bruce Wilson, former head of the Committee for an Independent Canada and past president of Union Gas, said liquified natural gas is an expensive type of energy and he doubts it could be sold on the Canadian market at this time.

He said he opposes exports of this commodity, because in the long term, Canada will require all the oil and gas it has. He also stressed that priority should be given to developing a Canadian energy policy rather than decisions on specific issues such as the AML plan, which may not be compatible with energy policies.

The industry officials admitted that a big problem was the lack of a Canadian resource policy and the absence of Native input in the policy discussions.

Dr. William Fuller, a scientist and former member of CARC, gave the closing address in which he said:

How we treat our last frontier will reveal whether we are yet ready to forsake the cowboy economy for the space ship economy, whether we are prepared to recognize the rights of minorities in our own generation and whether we are prepared to set aside our rich natural heritage for those who come after us. I end with a quote from Justice Berger: “What happens in the North, moreover, will be of great importance to the future of our country. It will tell us what kind of a country Canada is. It will tell us what kind of a people we are.”

Those interested in obtaining a copy of the workshop reports which will be available in the Spring, should write Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, 46 Elgin St., Rm. 20, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5K6, Canada.

Arctic Alternatives, the report of the 1st National Workshop is also available from CARC, along with these publications: Oil Under the Ice, Land Management in the Canadian North, and Mackenzie Delta, Priorities and Alternatives.

Volumes I and II (just published) of the Berger Report on the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry is

available from Printing and Publishing – Supply and Services Canada, Ottawa, K1A 059, Canada, for $5.00 Canada or $6.00 elsewhere, each volume.


In response to Arctic off-shore oil and gas operations in the Davis Strait (Greenland), the Northwest Territories (Archipelago and Mackenzie Bay, Hudson Bay) and Interior’s OCS plans in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, the NSB set out to organize the Inuit Circumpolar Conference to work toward a single set of rules for all Arctic shelf operations as a means of protecting the environmental security of the People of the North Slope Borough. At the first ICC meeting in Barrow, June, 1977, Inuit leaders from Alaska, Canada, and Greenland met to discuss problems relating to development, environment, and culture. Those who wish to obtain a souvenir brochure about that historic first meeting of the ICC may send their requests and $3.00 to the office of the North Slope Borough.



Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:

I just read the December newsletter and enjoyed the comprehensive report of the IWC meeting in Tokyo. However, I was disturbed by your consistent reference to “conservationist” as the opposition. I’m sure that you are aware that the avid whale preservationists represent but a small portion of the conservationists. In fact, all Alaskan organizations that took a position on the issue and several national organizations actually supported a continuation of subsistence hunting. I think this effort deserves recognition in your reports.

I’m sure you agree that subsistence whaling by the Eskimos has not been well understood nor accurately reported by most of the media. Yet you essentially make the same error when you categorize the actions of a few, such as Tom Garrett, as being representative of all conservationists. I trust that in the future you will not use double standards and set an example for others to follow.


George Matz

Executive Director, Fairbanks Environmental Center

Editor: We have taken pains in other issues to point out the support given Inupiat whalers by various conservation groups, but the point is well taken. This, of course, points out that the issue of aboriginal subsistence users is one that has not been settled among conservationists themselves.


Mayor Eben Hopson’s testimony before the Berger Commission has been reprinted and is available for $2.00 from Advocacy Planning Associates, 610 H St., Anchorage, AK 99501.

A Canadian Royal Commission, headed by Supreme Court Justice Thomas Berger, conducted the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, on exhaustive two-year study of the likely impact of oil and gas development throughout the Western Canadian Arctic. Mayor Hopson was invited to testify and his testimony tells of the impact of oil and gas development on Alaska’s Arctic coast. The 21-page document details the uses of local government in Coastal Zone Management.

Arctic Radio
Programs Available
Thirteen 10-minute programs covering the political issues in the Arctic have been produced by the North Slope Borough and are now available. The program is aimed at audiences both throughout Alaska and outside. The series, entitled “Alaska Today,” is suitable for use in schools and community education programs.

The program is currently being heard over 30 radio stations in Alaska and Canada. It is heard in Anchorage on KHAR Sunday at 10:05 p.m. and on KENI Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

The topics covered in the series are: The Story of Alaskan Oil, Land Claims and the Oil Pipeline, Coastal Zone Management, Western Technology in the Arctic, Boom Economy in a Small Village, Alaska’s Permanent Fund, The Case for Subsistence, Poverty in the North, Land Management, d-2 Lands and the People of the Arctic, The Politics of Caribou, Education in the Arctic, Self-Determination and the Land.

Those wishing to obtain the series, available on both reel-to-reel and cassette tapes should write “Alaska Today,” 610 H St., Anchorage, AK. 99501.