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This is a matter of survival and food security
for the Gwich'in people

The Gwich'in people have thrived in villages along the migration path of the Porcupine Caribou Herd since time immemorial, and consider the coastal plain where calves are born sacred. The Gwich’in depend on the caribou for subsistence, relying on the caribou for 80% of their diet. The few western foods that are shipped into the villages are prohibitively expensive and cannot be substituted for the abundance of caribou.


Any disruption of the caribou herd would pose an existential threat to the Gwich’in people.

"Any threat to the caribou is a threat to our people. We see the changes in our climate, our land, our animals and our way of life. For us as Gwich’in, our home, our very existence and identity is under threat.


"The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a sacred place. We want to continue to live our cultural and traditional way of life with the Porcupine Caribou Herd. It is our basic human right to continue to feed our families and practice our traditions.”
-- Bernadette Demientieff, Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee.

The Sacred Place Where Life Begins 
Video from Sierra Club 

One of the world’s last intact ecosystems, the Arctic Refuge is home to some of the most abundant and diverse wildlife anywhere in the world, including more than 200 rare and unique species. The 19 million acre refuge is known as the "biological heart" of the region and is one of the few places in the U.S. that has never seen the impact of industrial society. There are no roads, buildings, or permanent structures of any kind there. For decades, this special place has been protected from industrial activity.


But the Trump administration is rushing to sell off the coastal plain to the oil industry on an accelerated schedule. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge would permanently destroy this pristine place, threatening the human rights of the Gwich’in and worsening the climate crisis.

BlackRock’s ownership position :

Major extractors:



BlackRock is one of the top shareholders in each of the oil majors seeking to destroy this area.

BlackRock’s ownership position :

BlackRock’s ownership position:

USGS estimates as much as 10 Billion barrels of recoverable oil.

If the refuge is opened, projected extraction through 2050 is equivalent to the annual carbon emissions from over 50 coal power plants. 

Climate impacts:

The Gwich'in people have lived in the area for 40,000 years. 

80% of their diet comes from the Porcupine caribou herd which will be severely disrupted with oil development.

Human rights impacts: 

While the Arctic Refuge remains pristine and undeveloped today, the threats posed by potential seismic oil testing, lease sales, and exploratory drilling are very real and urgent.


Oil majors like BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips appear poised to pounce on any lease sales offered by the US government, and some companies have publicly indicated their interest in pursuing development in the Arctic Refuge.

BlackRock is one of the top shareholders of all of these oil majors and other oil and gas companies that may seek to destroy this critical area.


As such, BlackRock should be a leader and urge these companies not to pursue any projects in the Arctic Refuge that would violate the human rights of the Gwich’in people, harm endangered species, and exacerbate the climate crisis. BlackRock can and should send a clear message now, before it’s too late, that the Arctic Refuge should be off-limits to oil development. But so far, BlackRock appears to be abdicating that responsibility.

Click on the link below get involved with the campaign to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas development.

Act Now

Further Info

A campaign targeting asset managers to stop driving the climate crisis. 


Email: info@BlackRocksBigProblem.com

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