This article is re-posted with permission, and originally appeared on Medium. The We Are The Arctic campaign is a growing movement of diverse voices coming together around the unprecedented opportunity to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Learn more at: www.wearethearctic.org.
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the short summer season in Alaska, and for the past few years I’ve used this time as an opportunity to explore the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
In June of 1988, the elders and traditional leaders of the Gwich’in Athabascans congregated for the first customary gathering of their Nation in more than a century. July 26th will mark the first day of the 15th biennial Gwich’in Gathering, this year in Arctic Village.
(This story originally appeared on AlterNet.) My name is Earl Kingik and I am a member of the Native Village of Point Hope. I grew up in Point Hope and learned how to live off of the lands and waters that surrounded me. Now I teach the younger generations to practice our traditional ways.