Callan J. Chythlook-Sifsof: Native subsistence under threat

Callan J. Chythlook-Sifsof, a former Olympian, discusses Alaska Native opposition to the Pebble Mine:
I TRAVEL the world on the professional ski and snowboard circuit, but I grew up in a place most will never know firsthand. I was raised in Aleknagik, Alaska — an indigenous Yupik Eskimo village 400 air miles from the nearest chairlift and accessible only by boat and plane. It’s one of the most remote places in North America.

This area is gaining attention as the proposed location of the Pebble Mine, which could end up as the largest open-pit mine in North America and threaten thousands of acres of pristine watershed and the spawning grounds of the largest wild sockeye salmon run on the planet.

In recent years, an average of 37 million sockeye have returned every year to Bristol Bay, home to nearly half the sockeye in the world, supporting both commercial and subsistence fishing. Salmon are the economic backbone for Bristol Bay’s isolated bush communities. About 12,000 people work full or part time harvesting and processing the bay’s sustainable salmon.

Get the Story:
Callan J. Chythlook-Sifsof: Native Alaska, Under Threat (The New York Times 6/28)

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