Alaska Native leaders argue against eco-colonialism by Biden, while Peltola appeases her liberal allies

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Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat President Nagruk Harcharek speaks at an event hosted by Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, at the U.S. Capitol in November. Anaktuvuk Pass Mayor Lilian Stone, left, North Slope Borough Mayor Josiah Patkotak, left center, and Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope Director of Natural Resources Doreen Leavitt, right center. Photo credit: Office of Sen. Dan Sullivan

During a hearing in which Arctic Alaska Natives pleaded for the right to produce oil and gas, which funds their very existence in the harshest climate of the world, Rep. Mary Peltola took the middle path, neither advocating strongly for Alaska’s economy, nor declaring herself on the side of the environmentalists who want to crush it. She played it safe, unwilling to say anything that might offend her base.

Wednesday’s hearing on the Alaska’s Right to Produce Act, which would roll back Biden’s ban on exploration and development of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, brought out the likes of New York Democrat Rep;. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leader of The Squad, who argued on behalf of the Gwich’in people.

Although the Right to Produce bill is supported by all three members of Alaska’s congressional delegation, Peltola took the approach of appeasement to environmentalists, who are backing her campaign:

“And I do want to say that I have not been 100 percent pleased with all interactions with administration. But I think that this administration has shown Alaskans in deference with, in terms of Willow, the largest oil project that our state or nation has seen in decades. This is — we felt like this was a step in the right direction. And I think it’s unfortunate that people of the North Slope were not invited to have a discussion or no responses were given when overtures were made. But in order to get back on track, I think that it would be good to hear some constructive thoughts. I’d love to hear from each of you on how we can do a better job as Alaskans, making sure that industry, Native people and environmental folks can collaborate and work together, and that’s the only way we’re going to get anywhere,” she said, taking no stand that might offend her Democrat base.

Peltola continued to defend the Biden Administration and speak in veiled terms about climate change: “No one is coming to save us. And we do have a lot of concerns. And Alaska really does see firsthand concerning environmental issues and it’s warming, but it’s also marine debris, marine traffic. I mean, we are really seeing a new level of encroachment that we haven’t felt this firsthand before in any generation in Alaska.”

But Charles Lampe, president of Kaktovik Inupiat Corp., argued on behalf of Native Alaskans: “My community unapologetically supports the leasing program. Many people try to steer the debate to caribou. For Kaktovik, it’s about our people and having an economy to survive.”

Congress needs to fulfill its promises made to Alaska over 40 years ago, Lampe said. “We will not succumb to eco-colonialism and become conservation refugees on our own land. The people have every right to pursue economic, social and cultural self-determination. The laws of the U.S. should support indigenous populations, not interfere with these basic human and political rights.”

Others attending the House hearing to advocate for an Arctic economy were Nagruk Harcharek, the president of Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat; Josiah Patkotak, mayor of the North Slope Borough; Morrie Lemen, the executive director of the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope; and Nathan Gordon Jr., vice president of the Native Village of Kaktovik, Arctic Slope Director of Natural Resources Doreen Leavitt,  and Anaktuvuk Pass Mayor Lilian Stone, all who support a responsible oil and gas industry.

These are some of the same Alaska Native leaders who have repeatedly tried to get a meeting with Sec. of Interior Deb Haaland, but have been rebuffed, as Haaland pursues the Biden agenda of “no more oil,” except in her home state of New Mexico, which under Biden is now second in production after Texas.

At the end of the hearing in the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources subcommittee Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) spoke to the “terrible repercussions” of the Biden Administration on Alaska:

“Alaska has been blessed with vast deposits of oil and natural gas that can unleash economic prosperity in Alaska and help restore American energy dominance,” he said. “The Biden Administration’s decision to take these resources offline without consulting with the Alaska Native communities most impacted by this decision has had terrible repercussions for the state of Alaska and the entire United States, including a loss in jobs and higher energy costs. President Biden’s ‘anywhere but America, any worker but American’ energy agenda must come to an end, which is why I was proud to introduce the Alaska’s Right to Produce Act. By reversing Biden’s harmful actions on Alaska’s North Slope, this legislation will empower Alaska Native communities and energy workers to responsibly develop these resources rather than continue our unstable reliance on hostile foreign adversaries. I am grateful to the witnesses who testified on the need for this legislation during today’s subcommittee hearing, and I promise to continue fighting until this crucial legislation is enacted.”

Alaska’s Rep. Peltola, however, focused her efforts on another piece of legislation, which would reintroduce buffalo to reservation land in other states.

“I’m proud to join a group of bipartisan legislators to reintroduce the Indian Buffalo Management Act–a bipartisan bill my predecessor supported–to restore Indigenous conservation and protection of buffalo,” Peltola said online, referring to the late Congressman Don Young, while ignoring the visit of Alaska Native leaders to the U.S. Capitol.

50 COMMENTS

    • Yup.
      Thank the 2 time loser RINO Begich voters for not Ranking the Red.
      Once a RINO always a RINO.
      Bush, McConnel, McCain, Romney, Jeb, Graham, Thyme, Sasse, Paul Ryan, Flake, Murkowski, Sullivan, Boehner, Cheney, Kinzinger, Scarborough – you get the drift…

      • It was splitting the red vote. Palin or Begich needed to drop out. Palin voters will had needed to vote for Begich if she dropped out. Begich voters will had needed to vote for Palin if he dropped out. Now we are facing the same play again Dalstrom and Begich. One MUST drop out. Dalstrom should drop out. She was second. Frankly I doubt she cares about Alaska nor Alaskans to be coming in so late. I see red flags for her to get in so late seeing what happened last time. Hadn’t the R’s learned the lesson the first time!? You have two strong R’s they will split the vote under RCV. The gubernatorial candidates modeled it for us when their strong D’s Walker and Gara split its vote. Maybe the power here orchestrated to keep Dunleavy in power. Power leaders in the state must not really want Nicolas Begich iii get a chance to represent Alaska. That they feel they must pull someone from Dunleavy’s administration which are moderates and shown they respect the power organization existing here. An honest R leader who cares about Alaska who cares about their own future on Alaska wouldn’t had gotten in after seeing Nicholas Begich iii entered. They wouldn’t want to ruin the chance to replace Peltola.

      • When Nick B ran against Amy Dembosky in the Anchorage Assembly race several elections ago: Nick said he supported McCain, Lisa and Romney with time and money. It was shown on NPR’S RUNNING Debate.

    • Maybe the north slope borough needs to spend some money and educate these villages to what it costs to maintain a rural life with no
      Economy to support it.

  1. Time for states to disregard a central government that tyrannically prohibits them from development and defending their borders. The patriots broke with England over far less than what DC pushes on the states today. And we should all know what the Declaration of Independence says about dissolving ties to such a government. The swamp cares far more about an invading replacement population than native born citizens.

  2. Past time for Peltola to RESIGN. The only people she represents are Biden democrats. ALASKA FIRST!!!

    • Yep, not surprising! Peltola, by NOT advocating strongly for the native people is advocating for the environmentalists. Maybe now the native community will see her for what she really is. She is NOT for the native communities unless she is getting a whole lot of something out of it. Rather she is a Deb Haaland promoter/follower! She is not now nor never has been Alaska first, she is Peltola first! She needs to be voted out and we need to be smart Alaskans and vote Nick Begich in, who US Alaska first unapologetically!!

  3. I’m hopeful these Alaska Native leaders will realize that the “one of their own” who they elected, does not care about them. Remember the commercials of Mary at fish camp? Yes, she certainly showed her Alaska Native bona files there. However, she has since turned her back on the Native community for the tenuous support of environmental warriors. Who will discard her the second she speaks against them, or suggests oil development in Alaska is critical to the Native community. Hopefully a strong united republican front can get her out of office. But that’s probably a fantasy too.

    • At the end of the day, they will probably just vote the D as they have done for decades.

      Regardless of how it hurts them long term.

  4. If everything she believes is true is now the time for limp-wristed, girlish “leadership” anywhere among our servants class who are paid to know, synthesize and articulate the needs of our Alaska region within the millieu of federal Congress on foreign soil full of international influence embassies who have shut your voices off? ?

  5. Charles Lampe summed up the situation with the most common sense of anyone with his last paragragh.

    And Deb Haaland with her following Biden’s “No More Oil” agenda but her homestate of New Mexico has mysteriously become second in the nation behind Texas in oil and gas production.
    The Indians have simply declared war on the Eskimos as they have been doing for many centuries. Nothing new here.

  6. Since when have progressives actually given a damn about the minorities they allegedly champion.

    Answer: never.

  7. This is good to read. I am glad that natives are speaking out. Many are related to people all over the state, so having this group speaking out might wake up their relatives and fellow Alaskans to the dangers that we face by have Mary in office. Mary needs to be voted out! I hope that in the end, she, Hoffmans, and Murkowski will not be able to walk down Bethel streets or Anchorage streets without being boo’d off the street! They have done big wrongs to Alaska and they all need to go.

  8. “And I do want to say that I have not been 100 percent pleased with all interactions with administration. But I think that this administration has shown Alaskans in deference with, in terms of Willow, the largest oil project that our state or nation has seen in decades. This is — we felt like this was a step in the right direction. And I think it’s unfortunate that people of the North Slope were not invited to have a discussion or no responses were given when overtures were made. But in order to get back on track, I think that it would be good to hear some constructive thoughts. I’d love to hear from each of you on how we can do a better job as Alaskans, making sure that industry, Native people and environmental folks can collaborate and work together, and that’s the only way we’re going to get anywhere,”
    Is she taking “word salad” lessons from our esteemed Vice President Kamala “Twinkletoes” Harris?

    • Bingo!!! I was waiting for someone to make that connection between Mary and Twinkletoes the salad queen. LOL

  9. This is what you get when you elect a person who rubber stamps every policy and talking point of the Democrats. Instead of standing up and being a true advocate and maverick for Alaskan native communities, you get weakness and non representation for Alaska.
    Next time, vote for the party that is pro Alaska , pro energy, pro prosperity. And it’s not the Democrat party!

  10. This fellow Lampe quoted above hit the ball out of the PARK!
    Great encapsulation of the argument against the tyranny of a far away and illiterate Land Lord. Screw the Feds and their corrupt system in that despotic enclave called D.C.

  11. Since when must Alaska Natives “plead” for the right to produce anything, especially in this political climate?
    .
    What Democrat leader, what leader of America’s two-tiered justice system is prepared to stop
    .
    … the likes of Nagruk Harcharek, the president of Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat; Josiah Patkotak, mayor of the North Slope Borough; Morrie Lemen, the executive director of the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope; and Nathan Gordon Jr., vice president of the Native Village of Kaktovik, Arctic Slope Director of Natural Resources Doreen Leavitt, and Anaktuvuk Pass Mayor Lilian Stone, and others
    .
    … from uniting into one really big natural-resource development organization and going ahead with what they want to do?
    .
    If
    the Chinese Communists can play our Secretary of State like a marionette,
    the Chinese Communists can fly spy balloons over America with impunity,
    Antifa- BLM can have their way with federal and state law enforement,
    our military is vaxxed and pronoun’d into irrelevancy,
    Ukraine leadership can bully the U.S. into giving them a blank check to spend as they please,
    Hamas can run America’s mideast foreign policy,
    the Biden administration is powerless to stop the illegal alien invasion,
    .
    why should Alaska Natives accept that somehow Auntie Deb Haaland alone can stop, terminally or otherwise, their leaders from uniting into a really big, politically powerful natural-resource development organization and going ahead with what they want to do?
    .
    What if Alaska Native leaders start this movement and it spreads through the rest of America?
    .
    What happens to state-controlled news and social media when they have to vilify Alaska Natives to make the government’s case for suppressing Alaska Native leaders?
    .
    Can’t happen here?
    .
    Alaska Native leadership get tired of “pleading”, explaining why they should “plead” for anything from government officials, such as Auntie Deb or Peoples Federal Representative Peltola who don’t give a damn about them on a good day, something’ll happen, no?

    • Dan Sullivan can give the tribal leaders in Alaska access to Deb Haaland as Dan supported her and voted for her confirmation to Interior Secretary . Now Dan’s telling us he can’t get meeting set up with Native Leaders and Deb Haaland ? Something is haywire . Come on Dan , you and Lisa M supported her confirmation to Interior Secretary . Crazy and these senators wonder why we are all confused ? It’s because they keep everyone confused . Deb Haaland and her eco-Nazi crew has done everything in their power to stop any oil development on Federal Lands in Alaska . Proven track record and our two senators supported her and confirmed her appointment. Can’t make this stuff up !

      • Good point.
        .
        Senator Sullivan can facilitate a meeting between Alaska Native leaders and Auntie Deb.
        .
        If Auntie Deb disrespects the Senator by declining to meet, Senate Sullivan can show disapproval by sponsoring a formal hearing and a Senate resolution, calling for 100 senators to go on record approving or disapproving Auntie Deb’s actions.
        .
        This outcome may open the door for Alaska Native leaders to get what they want, with or without Auntie Deb’s blessing.
        .
        Alaska Native leaders could save time, show initiative, by drafting the resolution, specifying exactly what they want in clear and concise terms, and asking Senator Sullivan to sponsor it.
        .
        It’s up to Alaska Native leaders to convey their absolute determination to Senator Sullivan, the Marine colonel whose military culture is all about grim determination.
        .
        Their -unstated- but firm position must be that they’re not begging for a damned thing, this matters a hell of a lot to them and to their country, how best can they persuade the Senator to sponsor their resolution, so they don’t have to find another senator who will?

    • Well, they could always quit lockstep voting for democrats as an opening bid. Never happen, but nice to think about. Would be a reprise of the Trump argument to blacks: What do you have to lose? Cheers –

      • Never happen while present GOP Inc. management remain in place.
        .
        Never happen while the actions of present GOP Inc. management suggest they don’t know what inspires confidence and cooperation in rural voters, what GOP Inc. must do to gain confidence and cooperation from rural people.
        .
        Could happen if Alaska GOP Inc. were replaced with motivated people prepared to start a rural hearts-and-minds, political and economic counterinsurgency against Democrat Inc.
        .
        Might happen without GOP Inc. if committed counterinsurgents persist in getting their message out, in local dialects, for starters.

        • You present an interesting dichotomy. ‘Pubs need to do the entire hearts and mind routine to even get past the front door, while dems continue doing what they are doing, fully embraced and supported while they do it, all to the detriment of everything in the Bush and keep getting all their votes ad infinitum.

          Its a successful brainwashing operation Hamas would be proud of, and just as useful to the future of our neighbors and their families in the Bush. While the poor lifestyle choices of our friends in the Middle East will quickly destroy them when they poke their neighbors too hard, voting democrat takes a bit longer, though is every bit as destructive to everything they hold dear in the long run. You would think dem voters in the Bush would figure this out someday. Cheers –

  12. As entertaining as the above comments are, all of you are missing the most important aspect of this: Native cultures believe in forming consensus before any action, and in deep respect for each person in whatever group is discussing an issue. Mary Peltola’s many failures are largely due to her desire to respect and form consensus – consequently she follows the loudest mouths in her party. She is also disrespecting the tradition she grew up with by ignoring the calls for consensus from Native leaders on local management of resource development – for their voices to be heard in decision making. Nick Begich can make big gains by respectfully promising to include ideas from these leaders in the article. He would do well to appoint a staff liaison.

    • She’s going to be one and done ! Take a big congressional fat retirement go into a consultants role in the cesspool we call our nations capital ! And be pulling the strings for years .

      Thanks to Sarah and other guy, Begich for this mess ! You guys are both jerks and the AK GOP does not represent me or my Alaskan values . A party of yesteryear !

      My dad was a democrat and fifty years ago they were the party in charge and much more for the people of Alaska and Alaskans than this nutty GOP party of Grifters , opportunists and prostitutes .

    • Podium sign says “Secretary Haaland, Hear Our Voices” in great big letters.
      .
      Had to have consensus to get that far, no?
      .
      Sign didn’t say “Secretary Haaland, Hear Our Voice”, what does that tell us, Rich?
      .
      When the next podium sign says “Auntie Deb, Listen To Us, Dammit!!”, we’ll know the leaders are well along to winning.

  13. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who argued on behalf of the Gwich’in people” illustrates the made for soundbite politics in place of facts. The Gwich’in Steering Committee is a puppet entity with all outside Whites who control the official stance and narrative. Who and how much they pay to use the Gwich’in “leadership” for a “Native” voice to play advocate for is the question. The so called “environmentalist” lobby has absolutely nothing to do with the environment, the welfare of human beings, animals, plants, waters and the atmosphere. We need to end repeating made up memes to define issues. It is just a collection of utterly corrupt special interest globalists with their army of white attorneys manipulating the field for wealth exfiltration. The last thing these people care about or understand are Natives, culture, lands, and natural resources.

    • The Gwichen people’s advocate and funding is all from a DC law firm ! Crazy and you can’t make it up . They show pictures of ANWR as this lush green landscape when in fact it’s bleak swamp on the edge of the ocean ! Most of the pictures are taken in the SE corner of refuge near Gates of the Arctic and no where near where the drilling would occur .

      It’s hilarious as the size of the total oil production in scale would be the size of a ball on an ink pin on 8 1/2 inch by 11 sheet of paper . In the early eighties most of the opposition to drilling ANWR was funded by the Saudi’s and then leap frogged to a few very outspoken folks in Fort Yukon . Who literally live a couple hundred miles from the drilling on the south side of the Brooks range !

      Can’t make it up

  14. Party is over for the Alaska Natives. Their VIP access has been denied. They don’t have a right to the big players no longer. Rich people make terrible friends.

  15. I just thought of something that is interesting. Is he news about Kwethluk’s Matushka Olga being made a saint by the Orthodox Church in America a distraction to keep the Alaska Natives from becoming involved in topics such as this one? The timing of Olga’s event is interesting.

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