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Issue No: Two_________________________________Date: February, 1977


Teno Roncalio, Chairman of the House Interior Sub-Committee on Indian Affairs and Public Lands, invited Sam Raddi, President of the Committee for Original Peoples Entitlement (COPE), Inuvik, NWT, to Washington, D. C. on February 17th to testify before his oversight hearings on the implementation of the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act. At issue was the route to use to market Prudhoe Bay gas. Earlier, FPC review judge Nathan Litt had recommended approval of the Arctic Gas pipeline proposal to build a multi-billion dollar gas line from Prudhoe Bay east to the Mackenzie River Valley and south through the Mackenzie Valley. Litt made the point that he did not consider such legal and political problems as the Canadian Native land claims in reaching his conclusion that the Arctic Gas route should be recommended for approval by the Federal Power Commission. Raddi told Roncalio and his Committee that even the consideration of approval of the Arctic Gas route before Canada settles the Inuvialuit Western Arctic land claims raises serious questions of justice. He said that Nathan Litt's recommendation constituted prejudicial interference with Inuvialuit efforts to win a fair settlement of their land claims. He appealed for equal justice saying that the U. S. Congress should be just as fair to the land claims of the Canadian Inuvialuit as it was to those of the Alaskan Inupiat But he said that his experience has led him to doubt both the desire and the ability of the Canadian government to negotiate a settlement to these claims in time to permit approval of the Arc-tic Gas pipeline route. Raddi's testimony was covered by CBC television and was featured on the February 17th Canadian network news.


NSB Mayor Eben Hopson cited a new doctrine of aboriginal offshore jurisdiction in a speech before Native coastal community leaders gathered in Anchorage to learn about community involvement in OCS development in Alaska. Hopson said that fundamental aboriginal entitlement underlying Native land claims also underlies aboriginal offshore jurisdiction, and that the threats to Native environmental security posed by the Federal Outer Continental Shelf Program means that Native people will have to assert their claim to off-shore jurisdiction. Acknowledging that this doctrine has not yet been developed in the courts, Hopson pointed to the Canadian land claims and the Greenland Home-rule Movement as opportunities for securing this jurisdiction through land claims settlement agreements.


Sam Raddi's appearance before Congressman Roncalio's gas pipeline route oversight hearings was arranged by the NSB's new Washington, D. C. Liaison Office under the direction of Charlie Edwardsen, Jr. Mayor Hopson decided to launch the NSB Washington, D. C. liaison operation while in the Capitol for Jimmy Carter's inauguration. Hopson also engaged the new law firm of Van Ness, Curtis, Feldman & Sutcliffe. Bill Van Ness was formerly Chief Counsel to Henry Jackson's Senate Interior Committee, and Lynn Sutcliffe was Chief Counsel to Warren Magnuson's Senate Interior Committee.


When Sam Raddi appeared before the Congressional Committee in Washington, D. C., he was joined by Karl Elias Olsen, a prominent leader in the Greenlandic Homerule Movement, and Principal of the Knud Rasmussen Hojskole of Sisimiut, Greenland. Olsen had been invited to Barrow to help plan the agenda for the first Inuit Circumpolar Conference, and discuss the development of educational and cultural exchange and cooperation between Barrow and Sisimiut. The Knud Rasmussen Hojskole has been designated by the Greenland Land Council (Provincial Parliament) to handle Greenland's participation at the Inuit Circumpolar Conference in Barrow during the week of June 13th. At Mayor Hopson's request, Karl Elias Olsen returned to Greenland via Washington, D. C. to lend his support to Sam Raddi, and to express the circumpolar solidarity of the Inupiat land claims movement.


52 Arctic scientists and research program administrators met for a week-long scientific conference hosted by the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, Barrow. Employed in NOAA's Arctic OCS Environmental Assessment Program (OCS-EAP), the scientists gathered to exchange and synthesize the results of two years' research of the ecological environment of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, both slated for eventual Federal OCS lease sales and exploration. A preliminary research report, based upon this synthesis, should be ready for release in May or June, 1977. The NSB first became involved with the Arctic OCS-EAP program when Mayor Hopson attended a joint U.S./Canadian Beaufort Sea Conference in Seattle in June, 1976. There it was learned that Canadian scientists employed in Environment Canada's 5-year Beaufort Sea Project concluded that Beaufort Sea OCS operations with today's off-shore technology would be unsafe, and they recommended against issuing final approval for the DOME/CANMAR exploration in the Mackenzie Bay. However, the Canadian Cabinet decided to proceed with the DOME/CANMAR project against the advice of their national Arctic environmental scientists. Concerned that this disregard of scientific warning might be repented in the U. S. Beaufort OCS program, Hopson became a member of the OCS-EAP user's Panel, and employed science consultants to help him appraise the progress of Arctic OCS environmental impact assessment. The NSB was pleased that the Synthesis Workshop was conducted at the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, and would like to see the Lab's research program built around the need to learn how to conduct Arctic OCS operations without endangering Arctic environmental security.


As a measure of national energy desperation and Arctic construction cost inflation, tunneling emerged from the OCS-EAP Beaufort Synthesis Workshop as a serious way to avoid surface environmental risk while taking oil from beneath the Arctic Ocean. This has interested the NSB because tunneling is the only way so far proposed that might effectively solve the problem of Arctic OCS operations in the ice environment of the Beaufort Sea. Tunneling under the Beaufort Sea sounds insane on its face to the people of the NSB, but given the vast reserves of oil presumed to lie beneath the Beaufort, tunneling at the cost of $10-$20 million per mile would be cost effective and compare favorably with the cost of the construction of large gravel islands and the huge multi-storied drilling structures being conceived to be able to withstand the force of the ice pack. Undersea tunneling would enable recovery of Arctic shelf oil reserves while avoiding any involvement with the ice, and with minimum on-shore disturbance. On-shore construction pads and roads would be built from material re- covered from the tunneling. To date, there has been no work done to determine the technical and economic feasibility of Arctic tunneling. So far, only surface- oriented scientists have participated in the Arctic OCS-EAP program, and the NSB will seek the involvement of tunneling experts in future Arctic OCS environmental impact assessment. Two publications were distributed at the Beaufort Synthesis Workshop that deal with Arctic tunneling: "The Use of Tunneling to Develop Arctic Oil and Gas Reserves," an article printed in the September, 1976 issue of the Tunneling Technology Newsletter of the National Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Engineering; and "Tunnel Chamber Production System Proposed for Arctic Offshore Fields," an article from the January 3, 1977 issue of The Oil and Gas Journal.



When the NSB was organized in 1972 there was felt the immediate need for training professional development for the developing NSB staff and NSB School District teachers. After seeking a special job-centered post-secondary training program from the University of Alaska with no success, the NSB began its own post-secondary program which evolved into the Inupiat University of the Arctic (IUA), organized in cooperation with Antioch College, Sheldon Jackson College, and LaVern College. In 1976, the IUA was given candidacy status for accreditation. This status was endangered when the director of the University of Alaska's Barrow Extension Center Program and the President of IUA were charged with fraud and embezzlement and were dismissed, leaving the Inupiat University in serious financial trouble. On February 1Oth, U. of A. President Robert Hiatt met with NSB officials to work out an agreement whereby the University will sponsor the Inupiat University of the Arctic until it is fully accredited, and will serve as a pass-through for NSB appropriations for the IUA, thus avoiding legal barriers to the use of public funds for private institutions. The IUA will remain a private Inupiat cultural post-secondary educational institution and will be responsible for conducting the University's Barrow Extension Center Program under contract with the U. of A.


While in Barrow to work on Inuit Circumpolar Conference planning, Karl Elias Olsen, Principal of Greenland's Knud Rasmussen Hojskole, met with the bilingual education program staff of the NSB School District and with the School District's Associate Superintendent Don Renfro to begin developing a program of educational exchange and cooperation between Greenland and the North Slope Borough. NSB School Board members have approved a planning consultant contract between the NSB School District and Knud Rasmussen Hojskole that will enable Knud Rasmussen's Director of International Programs, Carl Christian Olsen, to travel to Fairbanks and Barrow to work out a plan for cooperation in the areas of teacher and student exchange, teacher training, development of Inupiaq-language curriculum materials, and the development of a circumpolar Inupiaq orthography for use in education and communications. This plan will be developed with the assistance of Edna Ahgeak MacLean of the University of Alaska's Inupiaq language program. MacLean, born and raised in Barrow, took leave from the University of Alaska to study in Copenhagen and Greenland last spring. While in GreenIand she visited the Knud Rasmussen Hojskole. Along with Carl Christian Olsen, she participated in the Inuit Circumpolar Pre-conference in Barrow last March. After the Conference, MacLean recommended that the NSB Assembly establish the NSB Inupiaq Language Commission by ordinance, and this was done last fall. Both Karl Elias Olsen and Carl Christian Olsen attended the Cross-Cultural Educational Conference at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks last summer. Now, Carl Christian Olsen and Edna MacLean will develop a circumpolar educational exchange and cooperation plan for submission to the NSB School Board, and the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. Part of this plan will outline cooperation between the NSB Inupiat Language Commission and the Inupiaq language commissions of the Canadian Inuit Tapirisat and of Greenland. Also, cooperation between the Knud Rasmussen Hojskole and the Inupiat University of the Arctic will be included as part of the plan.


Opened in 1962, the Knud Rasmussen Hojskole is a Greenlandic Inupiat cultural and post- secondary educational residential institution with a student body of 25. New facilities under construction will enable expansion of student body to 36. Specializing in Greenlandic Inupiat language and culture, Knud Rasmussen Hojskole is the only school in Greenland that is not operated by the Danish government. It is funded by the Danish government and the Greenland Land Council as part of the Danish Folk High school Program.



Last month's Newsletter outlined an $8 million plan of organization and operation for the new NPR-4 Task Force established by Sec. 105(c) of PL 94-258, the Naval Petroleum Reserves Act of 1976. Since then, the Task Force met in Mid-January to learn that the $8 million had not been nailed down at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and that there would likely be a budget reduction and 3 delay in funding the work of the Task force. Meeting again on February 24, the Task Force learned that the President's FY '77 supplemental budget request recently submitted to Congress contains nearly $4 million to begin Task Force operations, with another $2,755,000 included in the FY '78 request. The Task Force, made up of Interior agencies, the State, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, and the NSB, agreed to adopt the following NPR-4 Land Use Study Schedule:

  1. Start of Project. March 1, '77
  2. Draft of physical profile from existing data. June 1, '77
  3. Incorporate new field data, finalize updated profile and resource inventory. Oct. 1, '77
  4. Complete ecological profile and planning area analysis. Nov. 1, '77
  5. Determination of resource potentials
    and opportunities. Dec. 1, '77
  6. Individual resource recommendations. Feb. 1, '78
  7. Land use conflict identification. Mar. 1, '78
  8. Conflict resolution/development of alternative use options. July 1, '78
  9. Analysis of alternative use options. Sept. 1 '78
  10. Formal public input. Sept. through Oct., '78
  11. Draft recommendations. Dec. 1,'78
  12. Final draft. Jan. 1, '79
  13. To printer. Mar. 15, '79

The next meeting of the NPR-4 Task Force was scheduled for March 17, 1977. The Task Force staff is being assembled and will work in space rented in Anchorage in the Loussac-Sohn Building, 5th 4 D. Task Force meetings are held at the BIA Conference Room, Kaloa Building on C Street.


Funded by Federal funds under the provisions of Section 701 of the Housing Act of 1954, the NSB and Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) collaborated to engage Alaska Consultants, Inc. to produce an informative 32-page document North Slope Borough Coastal Zone Management Program Considerations. Principal authors: Tom Smyth and Ralph Darbyshire. Summary of their recommendations:

  1. NSB and DCRA should organize Association of Coastal Mayors to review all State CZM legislation, and to take positions.
  2. Use NPR-4 Task Force to produce a formal NPR-4 Coastal Zone Management plan for submission to the Department of Commerce.
  3. Work with DCRA to develop an NSB CZM program to be aimed at:

  • Immediate development of Beaufort Sea OCS lease area CZM plan designating preferred development zones and conservation zones.
  • Involvement of village residents with trained technicians for extensive on-site field work throughout the entire length and breadth of the NSB's coastal zone.
  • Maximum involvement of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and all village corporations in all aspects of CZM planning and implementation.
  • Study and develop the NSB's legal CZM jurisdiction.
  • Design a new NSB CIP plan to qualify capital projects for bond guarantees under the terms of the Coastal Energy Impact Program of the Office of Coastal Zone Management of the U. S. Department of Commerce.
  • Establish the NSB Planning Commission as the NSB's CZM Board.
  • Continue to include Canadian and other polar nations' OCS operations within the scope of the NSB's CZM concerns.

    An inquest into the death of a CANMAR drilling ship crewman in a shaker room explosion has revealed a previously unreported gas blowout last fall in the Tingmiark Well being sunk in the Mackenzie Bay off Tuktoyuktuk. (See the January issue of the Newsletter for details of a water blowout in the nearby Koponar Well.) The crewman's death was apparently caused by a series of mistakes and miscalculations that began when the Canadian government secretly changed CANMAR's drilling authority to allow drilling without protective casing below 4,000 feet. Integral velocity checks at 7,000 and 9,000 feet revealed no high pressure zone, so drilling continued to 10,000+ feet when a gas pocket was penetrated and a gas blowout occurred, and continued for 25 days. When initial attempts failed to seal the hole within the casing, which had been sunk to 4,000 feet, it was discovered that the gas was blowing out through the side of the hole through an undetected fault located just below where the casing ended. Because the drilling authority did not specifically require CANMAR to check for faults, a common procedure with Canadian Arctic off-shore operators, CANMAR failed to do so. The death of the crewman was caused when the CANMAR crew failed to connect a gas separator when they executed their emergency back- flushing procedure. Connecting the gas separator would have taken about two hours. Without this connection, gas was allowed to collect in the shaker room of the drilling ship with the drilling muds flushed from the hole, and the crewman was killed when the gas was ignited from an electrical spark. The Canadian government has just completed a technical review to determine if drilling should be permitted to resume next summer. According to Bob DeLury of COPE, the published report produced by this technical review does not contain any of the facts about the gas blowout, and COPE believes that the Canadian government is cooperating in a cover-up. DeLury points out that if the Canadian government had required CANMAR to stay with their original conservative casing program they would have been able to drill only to 7,000 feet before the drilling season ended. The Canadian government scrapped the safe casing program to "save time." COPE. believes that either the Canadian government took a calculated risk that backfired, or that the government acted in ignorance of the risk, but that either way the government was guilty of neglect that resulted in the death of the drilling ship crewman. Suspecting a cover-up, CBC investigative re- porters are researching the incident, while in Alaska the entire DOME/CANMAR Arctic episode is being ignored by the press.


    When gas pressure began to drop last year in face of sharply increasing demand in Barrow, the NSB became concerned and pressed for additional drilling on the South Barrow gas field. This month Husky Oil found a significant reserve of gas with South Barrow 14, thus confirming the indications of South Barrow 12 drilled in 1974. South Barrow 14 will have to be stepped off with confirmation wells before the size of the new find can be reliably measured, but indications now are that Barrow will be burning gas well into the next century when gas will no longer be available to the rest of the nation. Hard upon the announcement of the gas find came strong rumors that oil had also been discovered at South Barrow 14, but this rumor has been denied by the Navy's Officer in Charge of NPR-4.


    Canadian Minister for Indian Affairs and Northern Development Warren Allmand telegraphed Sam Raddi at his Washington, D. C. hotel on February 18th to request a meeting in Inuvik, NWT on February 25th. However, it has been learned that the Minister has allocated the least amount of time for his meeting with Raddi, and will spend more time with the Inuvik Town Council and with the Beaufort Sea Advisory Committee. COPE has detected the strategy of challenging the representative nature of Native land claims organizations in the recent behavior of the Canadian government. When Raddi testified before the gas pipeline route selection oversight hearings in Washington, D. C., Canadian Embassy staffers moved among newsmen covering Raddi's testimony saying that neither Raddi or COPE really represented the Inuvialuit, and this was reported to COPE people by Washington reporter Mark Panitch. Now, with Warren Allmand planning to spend more time with the Beaufort Sea Advisory Committee, COPE wonders about Allmand's good faith acceptance of COPE as the Inuvialuit regional organization. The Beaufort Sea Advisory Committee, consisting of Inuvialuit representatives of Mackenzie Bay villages, was organized by DOME/CANMAR in response to community anxiety about the DOME/CANMAR OCS project off Tuktoyuktuk . Representatives of DOME/CANMAR flew to Barrow last summer to ask Mayor Eben Hopson to become a member of the Beaufort Sea Advisory Committee when he brought the DOME/CANMAR project to national attention in the United States. Hopson refused to join the Committee, saying that he would participate on such an advisory committee only if it were organized by Sam Raddi and COPE. COPE regards the Beaufort Sea Advisory Committee as an obvious intent by the oil industry and the Canadian government to outflank COPE and impugn COPE's democratic authority. NSB leaders can recall similar tactics employed in the early days of the Alaskan Native land claims movement.


    Bob LaResche, Governor Hammond's Director of Policy Development and Planning, has written to Sam Raddi seeking to initiate discussions of Arctic coastal resource management. LaResche attended the Congressional oversight hearings before which Raddi testified about the Inuvialuit land claims on February 17. COPE was pleased with LaResche's initiative and has told the NSB that the Inuvialuit are interested in joining with the Arctic Slope Inupiat in such work as Caribou management and in monitoring and regulating off-shore oil and gas exploration and development. It is reported that LaResche will be appointed Commissioner of Natural Resources if the present Commissioner, Guy Martin, moves on to a high-level appointment in the Department of Interior.


    The Friends of the Earth, a national environmental protection organization, wrote to Jimmy Carter on February 14th asking him to include the Beaufort Sea on his agenda with Canadian Premier Trudeau on their February 2nd meeting. The letter was signed by FOE president David R. Brower, Pamela Rich, Alaska Coordinator, Washington, D. C., and James Kowalski, Alaskan Representative, Fairbanks. The letter noted that the Alaskan Inupiat and the Western Arctic Inuvialuit share the Beaufort Sea as a single ecological system that is now endangered by OCS development, and affirmed the right of the Inupiat to be party to the development of a joint U.S./Canadian Arctic policy.


    Mayor Eben Hopson will testify before Congressman Teno Roncalio's oversight hearings on the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act when they reconvene in Washington, D. C. on March 17th. Hopson has remained silent about the gas pipeline route up until now, although he did tell the Anchorage Times during his 1976 Congressional Campaign that he thought that the Federal government would choose the Arctic gas proposal over those of El Paso and Northwest. The village of Kaktovik has endorsed the Arctic Gas route because it would enable Kaktovik to be fueled by natural gas. But Hopson has remained silent because of his perception of the relationship between the Inuvialuit Western Arctic land claims and the Arctic Gas pipeline proposal. Hopson recognizes that the gas pipeline is just one of several layers of mutual interest that must be secured through a joint U.S.-Canadian Arctic policy agreement. His appearance before the House Interior Sub-Committee on Indian Affairs and Public Lands will provide Hopson with a national forum to lay out the problem of Prudhoe Bay gas transportation in the larger context of need for national and international Arctic environmental security agreements. While in Washington, Hopson will visit with the Secretaries of State, Interior and Commerce to promote Arctic policy development, and the development of an international Arctic Coastal Zone Management Program.


    Planning for the Inuit Circumpolar Conference to be held in Barrow during the week of June 13th, concurrent with the Barrow Whaling Festival, has proceeded with the help of Sam Raddi's visit to Barrow in January, and with Karl Elias Olsen's visit from Sisimiut, Greenland. Carl Christian Olsen's work in Fairbanks and Barrow in March will continue the progress. At this point, the Conference appears shaping up as a constitutional conference for the Inuit Circumpolar Assembly. Greenland's Karl Elias Olsen feels that two days should be set aside for introductions of delegates and their organizations. It is expected that about 60 delegates will attend, but it is unclear how these will be selected. The NSB is relying upon the Knud Rasmussen Hojskole to identify Greenland delegates. In Canada, COPE is identifying Western Arctic delegates; the Northern Quebec Inuit Association is selecting delegates for the Eastern Arctic in cooperation with the Labrador and Baffin Region Inuit Associations; and the Inuit Tapirisat is handling the Central Arctic representation with the Keewatin Inuit and Kitikmeot Inuit Associations of the Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay areas. Mayor Eben Hopson personally Visited with Lev L. Yatsyna, First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D. C. to seek the Embassy's help to identify Siberian delegates, but promised help has not been forthcoming. Once delegates have introduced themselves and described the organizations or communities they represent, Karl Elias Olsen feels that the body should sit as a constitutional convention to organize and adopt by-laws of the Inuit Circumpolar Assembly. Elections of officers would then be held. Once elected, the Executive Committee of the Assembly would then hold hearings in such areas as OCS development, education and language, local government, land claims, village utilities. Following these hearings, the delegates will be asked to vote on the first annual work program to be undertaken by the Inuit Circumpolar Assembly, and adopt an annual budget.


    Those wishing to subscribe to this Newsletter may do so by writing to Pat Bartel, Secretary to Mayor Eben Hopson, North Slope Borough, Barrow, Alaska. Those who would like to contribute to this Newsletter should send their copy to the same address.