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News Release

United Tribes of Bristol Bay

The release of additional ‘Pebble Tapes’ today once again confirms that the company behind the Pebble Mine is deceiving Alaskans and our elected representatives. The new tapes magnify the need for protections that will ensure the region’s future is not driven by political winds and the efforts of a foreign mining company focused on its bottom line.

In the additional tapes released by the Environmental Investigation Agency, the head of Pebble’s parent company Northern Dynasty, CEO Ron Thiessen, asserted that any statements of opposition to Pebble’s by Alaska’s Senators are merely part of America’s “silly season” running up to the election. Thiessen assured the investigators that pledges to protect the region are merely part of the electoral cycle, not genuine intent, and that after the election is over “You aren’t held to your promises.”

Earlier this month, during remarks at the annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention, Senator Lisa Murkowski promised to work on permanent protections for Bristol Bay’s world-class fishery and people who depend on the salmon resource. Today’s release of additional Pebble Tapes increases the need for such protections of the region’s world class fishery.

“Our people have been stewards of our lands and waters since time immemorial, and we will be part of the effort to protect our home forever,” said United Tribes of Bristol Bay Board President Robert Heyano. “The future of the region must be determined by the people from the region. We have fought for over two decades to protect Bristol Bay, and we will not stop until we have secured meaningful permanent protections for our home.”

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The two additional tapes released by the Environmental Investigation Agency make clear that deceit is a bedrock of the company’s tactics, and provide additional insight into the company’s financial house of cards – including the belief that Alaskans will subsidize the foreign mining company’s effort with $1.5 billion for infrastructure. The tapes also indicate that discussions of “mineral security” by Thiessen, as well as Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, are merely well-crafted talking points; in fact, the Canadian company intends to ship the ore to Asia and is actively seeking foreign investors to benefit from the project it expects Alaskan’s to subsidize.

About United Tribes of Bristol Bay

United Tribes of Bristol Bay is a tribal consortium representing 15 Bristol Bay tribal governments (that represent over 80 percent of the region’s total population) working to protect the Yup’ik, Dena'ina, and Alutiiq way of life in Bristol Bay.

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