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Chief seeks Trudeau's help to stop U.S. oil drilling in caribou breeding ground

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by The Canadian Press last update:Oct 31, 2017

OTTAWA —A Yukon First Nation wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene with the White House to stop the latest American push to drill for oil in fragile Arctic caribou habitat.
Chief seeks Trudeau's help to stop U.S. oil drilling in caribou breeding ground

Chief Bruce Charlie of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation is hoping to have American plans to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska added to the agenda of a meeting he is to have with Trudeau in early November.

U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed support for Arctic oil drilling and Congress could have legislation on it ready for Trump's signature before Christmas.

Trump has already undone a ban on offshore oil drilling in the U.S. Arctic implemented by former president Barack Obama in December 2016, which was announced at the same time as Trudeau announced a moratorium on offshore drilling in the Canadian Arctic.

The Gwitchin, a nation that includes more than 8,000 people across Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories, have been fighting against oil drilling in the refuge for 40 years, arguing it would seriously harm the breeding grounds of the Porcupine caribou.

Charlie said two delegates from his community are going to Washington, D.C., next week to join a planned day of action against the drilling proposals and meet several members of Congress who could help stop the legislation from going forward.

last update:Oct 31, 2017

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