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News Release

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope

North Slope Borough

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope (ICAS), and the North Slope Borough (Borough) are united in opposition to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement that it is proceeding to fundamentally abandon the 2020 National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) Integrated Activity Plan (IAP) and revert to the 2013 National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Integrated Activity Plan.

Yesterday’s announcement by the Bureau of Land Management diminishes Alaska Native self-determination by ignoring the needs, concerns and input of the local people who live, work and subsist in and around the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The 2020 Integrated Activity Plan was developed in partnership with the Borough and in consultation with North Slope Tribes and Alaska Native corporations. At the urging of these local and Alaska Native stakeholders, the 2020 Integrated Activity Plan included provisions that would have ensured future economic development opportunities for the region, allowed for community infrastructure needs to be considered in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and required that areas identified by local and Alaska Native entities be excluded from future leasing. Changes the North Slope Iñupiat fought to include. Yesterday’s decision by the Biden Administration to ignore the needs and concerns of the North Slope Iñupiat is in direct contradiction to its top public policy goals, to advance racial equity and support underserved communities.

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation President and CEO Rex Rock, Sr. stated, “On multiple occasions, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, the Borough, and Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope have offered to work in partnership with the Biden Administration on issues affecting our region. Secretary Haaland and President Biden have chosen, with this decision, to not only ignore the voices of the North Slope Iñupiat but to exclude us from the decision-making process on issues that impact our Iñupiat communities and our culture.”

Morrie Lemen, Executive Director of the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope said, “Secretary Haaland has violated her Department’s consultation guidance and E.O. 13175 by failing to consult with Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope. We are a federally recognized Tribe, and this action directly impacts the livelihoods of our tribal members. This is further proof that the Biden Administration prioritizes its relationships with environmental organizations over the sovereignty of Alaska Natives.”

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North Slope Borough Mayor Harry Brower, Jr. stated, “I have a responsibility to the people of the North Slope to protect the long-term sustainability of our communities through a viable economic base, a responsibility that I take very seriously. Secretary Haaland is failing in her responsibility to the Alaska Native people of the North Slope.” 

About Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation was incorporated pursuant to the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA). Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is owned by and represents the business interests of its approximately 13,000 Iñupiat shareholders, many of whom reside in the eight communities on the North Slope. Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 extinguished aboriginal land title and conveyed nearly five million acres of fee-simple land to Arctic Slope Regional Corporation for the cultural and economic benefit of its Iñupiat shareholders. Mandated by Congress to operate as a for-profit corporation, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is committed to providing financial returns to its Iñupiat shareholders in the form of jobs and dividends, and to preserving the Iñupiat culture and traditions.

About the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope

The Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope (ICAS) is a Regional Alaska Native tribal government governed by the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope Constitution. Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope was established as an IRA on August 26, 1971. The mission of Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope is to exercise its sovereign rights and powers for the benefit of tribal members, to conserve and retain tribal lands and resources including subsistence and environmental issues, to establish and carry out justice systems including social services pursuant to Iñupiat tribal law and custom, and to increase the variety and quality of services provided to current tribal members and for our future generations.

About the North Slope Borough

The North Slope Borough (Borough) is a home rule government located above the Arctic Circle that represents the roughly 10,000 residents in the eight communities of Anaktuvuk Pass, Atqasuk, Kaktovik, Nuiqsut, Point Hope, Point Lay, Utqiaġvik, and Wainwright. The Borough’s jurisdiction includes the entire National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) and the villages within it — Nuiqsut, Atqasuk, Utqiaġvik, and Wainwright. In 1972, the Iñupiat people of the North Slope formed the Borough to ensure their communities would benefit from oil and gas development on their ancestral homelands. It was the first time Native Americans took control of their destiny through the use of a municipal government. The Borough exercises its powers of taxation, property assessment, education, and planning and zoning services. Taxes levied on oil and gas infrastructure have enabled the Borough to invest in public infrastructure and utilities, support education, and provide police, fire, emergency and other services. Elsewhere in rural Alaska, these services are typically provided by the state or federal governments.

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