Wilkinson, First Nations concerned by sale of energy leases in Alaska wildlife refuge

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Image: Alaska Conservation Foundation

Federal politicians and northern First Nations are expressing concern over today's sale of energy leases in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The administration of United States President Donald Trump held the sale that includes the calving ground of the Porcupine caribou herd.

That herd is crucial to the livelihood and food security of First Nations in Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he is deeply concerned.

He says Canada believes the sale violates international agreements protecting the herd and has asked to be consulted on it.

The Gwich'In First Nations in northern Yukon also protested the sale.

Energy majors stayed away from the offering and almost all the leases were bought by an Alaska state agency.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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