Gwich’in and Inupiat people since time immemorial have relied on the area for sustenance and culture. Visitors find value for science, art, spiritual renewal, hunting, and recreation.
Since time immemorial, Gwich’in and Inupiat people have relied on this pristine land and the wildlife it supports for their basic sustenance and culture.
“We are the caribou people. Caribou are not just what we eat; they are who we are. They are in our stories and songs and the whole way we see the world. Caribou are our life.”
“The sacred place where life begins”
For thousands of years, the Gwich’in people have regarded the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge as “Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit,” or “the sacred place where life begins,” because it is the preferred birthing ground of the Porcupine Caribou herd. The Gwich'in people stand united in their message of protection of the Coastal Plain.
A place that changes lives
Visitors find value for science, art, spiritual renewal, hunting, and recreation in America’s wildest refuge. The Arctic Refuge supports an established, prosperous and sustainable economy of eco-tourism, guided hunting, recreation, air taxis and subsistence hunting. The protected Arctic Refuge wilderness inspires millions of Americans, and people from around the world.