May 23, 2017
Bethel, AK – The Executive Board and Administration of the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP), representing 56 federally recognized Tribes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, is deeply disappointed with the Implementing An America-First Offshore Energy Strategy Executive Order, signed by President Trump on April 28, 2017. The April 28th Order struck down the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Executive Order, signed into law on December 9, 2016. The December 9th Order addressed concerns our Tribes have about the increased shipping and effects of climate change on our Bering Sea. The December 9th Order also gave the Bering Sea coastal Tribes their rightful seat at the table when decisions about the Bering Sea are being made.
AVCP (along with the Bering Sea Elders Group and Kawerak) requested assistance from the Alaska Congressional Delegation to help protect the December 9th Order, which directly impacts our waters and the sustainability of our people. However, despite the combined voices of 76 federally recognized Tribes, the protections lasted only four months before being dissolved in a single sentence.
AVCP will not stop working to protect our land, our water and the resources that have sustained us for thousands of years. AVCP’s Executive Board has passed a resolution calling for the immediate reinstatement of the December 9th Order, and calls for individual Tribes and regional organizations to do the same.
AVCP demands that our Congressional Delegation support us in reinstating the December 9th Order in its original form in its entirety.