The Chiefs, the Elders, and tribal members met for the first time in hundreds of years back in June of 1988 with one goal in mind. They united in solidarity and in one voice to protect the Porcupine River Caribou Herd calving area in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil development and exploration. Since then they have met every other year to reaffirm their commitment to permanent protection of their ancient culture. Since the first gathering, the Gwich'in Steering Committee has carried out all of the Elders and Chiefs directions and we did very well on keeping the oil companies at bay. Now, because of the Bush administrations threat to our very being we must come together again to strategize and build our resistance and to take further directions from our Elders.
The young people of the Gwichin Nation called a meeting in Arctic Village, Alaska June 21st to 25th to discuss in length and depth the current threat that is heating up in Congress. We are in a state of urgency. Because of the impact oil drilling will have on the future of our young generation it is imperative that we gather at this time to build our strength and pride as a people and as a community. We must address these important issues now.
The first day will be dedicated to the honor of the Episcopal Church because of their undying support of the Gwichin. The remainder of the agenda will be decided by the Gwichin Chiefs, the Arctic Village Council, the Gwich'in Steering Committee, and the chosen young people with guidance of Evon Peter, Chief of Arctic Village. Prayers of thanks will be given by respected community leader, Trimble Gilbert of Arctic Village, our Episcopal Minister and Elder.
All Nations and Friends of the Gwichin are welcome. All Elders, all leaders, all young people and everyone who wants to come will be welcome as well as the PRESS. There will absolutely be NO drugs or alcohol permitted at our gathering. This will be a non-violent demonstration.
We expect a huge turnout. Out of respect for the community of Arctic Village we would like you to register early and be counted. We will have limited housing and food. We ask you to help by coming well equipped with tent and portable camping gear. Please be prepared for the most isolated Indian community in our time and era. The cold weather is also very unpredictable so be prepared with warm boots and hats. We ask you to please bring snacks, and small cash. This is our gathering and we want you to feel welcome and become educated on our culture.
Shalak Naii (All my relations) We will see you there!!
For information, contact:
Julie Hollandsworth 907-587-5269 or Sarah James 907-587-5315 fax 907-587-5128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gwich'in Steering Committee
127 1st Avenue
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
June 21st-25th, 2001
Arctic Village, Alaska
support for the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY CONTACT
Young Gwichin People Call Gathering
Most people will arrive June 21st and leave June 25th. If you are coming from the States or southern Canada, you will probably want to fly to Fairbanks. Arctic Village is a two hour flight by small plane.
Wright Air Service Phone 907-474-0502
Regular fare from Fairbanks is $290 round trip from Fairbanks.
There may be having a special fare for the gathering so it would be good to check.
Baggage is limited to 40 lbs, but if you have extra weight you will have to pay excess baggage.
We expect a lot of people, maybe up to 300 or more. Elders, and other who may need to, will be put up in houses in the village. The rest of us will camp out. There will be a place set up to camp. So bring your camping gear. We cannot be responsible for any losses.
Basic meals will be provided and also coffee, tea and juice. For those who prefer hot dogs, soda or candy they will be provided at the local store. We will need help in preparing, serving and cleaning up after meals, and in keeping the village clean. Dont be shy to pitch in.
Donations are very much appreciated and they can be sent to the Gwich'in Steering Committee PO Box 202768 Anchorage, AK 99520
Hopefully it will be warm and sunny during the days, but it can get cold at night in the Arctic. People should bring warm clothes, camping equipment, including warm sleeping bag and pad, rain jacket, fishing gear, Native dress, musical instruments, and small bills.
There is available any of the village outhouses you can use and also a Washeteria with a toilet and laundry and shower for a fee. No going behind the BUSH. Keep the bush clean.
There will be a health aid in the village. The nearest hospital is in Fairbanks.
Please note: Alcohol or drugs are not permitted on tribal lands and no teepee peeking.
Have a good time at the Gwichin Young People Gathering!!!!!