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Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice
Foyalty 106

Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice (Hardback)

£35.50
Pre-order for despatch on publication.

Synopsis

Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Alaska is one of the most contested landscapes in all of North America: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Considered sacred by Indigenous peoples in Alaska and Canada and treasured by environmentalists, the refuge provides life-sustaining habitat for caribou, polar bears, migratory birds, and other species. For decades, though, the fossil fuel industry and powerful politicians have sought to turn this unique ecosystem into an oil field. Defending the Arctic Refuge tells the improbable story of how the people fought back. At the center of the story is the unlikely figure of Lenny Kohm (1939-2014), a former jazz drummer and aspiring photographer who passionately committed himself to Arctic Refuge activism. With the aid of a trusty slide show, Kohm and representatives of the Gwich'in Nation traveled across the United States to mobilize grassroots opposition to oil drilling in the refuge. Together, images and Indigenous voices helped build a political movement that galvanized the citizenry and transformed the debate into a struggle for environmental justice.



In a time of escalating climate change, species extinction, and threats to Indigenous lands and cultures, this book demonstrates the power of collective action to defend human rights and ecosystems and the ability of diverse alliances to take on multinational corporations and change the world.

Finis Dunaway is professor of history at Trent University.

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