Indians Urge U.S. to Save Caribou Land

Associated Press

Indians from both sides of the border have joined forces to save a caribou calving ground from oil and gas exploration they claim could threaten a prime source of food.

Five representatives from the tiny Yukon village of Old Crow traveled to Arctic Village, Alaska's most northerly native community, to appear before a U.S. congressional committee holding hearings into plans to explore land used by the Porcupine River caribou herd.

Both groups warned the committee their way of life would be in danger if the caribou calving ground was disturbed.

The area in dispute is part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the main calving ground for the Porcupine herd, estimated at up to 180,000 head. Last month the U.S Interior Department began auctioning off drilling rights to land which oil companies believe hold more than nine billion barrels of oil.

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