Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Bernadette Demientieff, Gwich’in Steering Committee, bernadette@gwichinsteering.com

Press Release

Gwich'in Steering Committee Responds to AIG's New Policy on Arctic Drilling, Notes Gwich'in Leaders will Stop at Nothing to Protect Traditional Lifeways

WASHINGTON -

Today American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) announced new company-wide policy, which rules out providing insurance and investment to “any new Arctic energy exploration,” among other climate commitments. With this announcement, AIG is the first American company among a growing list of international insurance companies to publicly issue a policy ruling out new energy exploration projects in the Arctic. 

This announcement demonstrates continuing momentum towards the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights by the global insurance industry. AIG will join several international insurers that have issued clear, public statements refusing insurance for development projects in the Arctic Refuge. The new policy comes in response to the ongoing international corporate campaign led by the Gwich’in Steering Committee and allies. 

In response, Bernadette Demientieff, Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee said the following: “Our lives and our sovereignty are non-negotiable. We will not allow the oil industry to destroy Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit, the sacred place where life begins.” Demientieff added, “We are grateful to AIG for stepping up as the first American insurance company to take a lead to protect our sacred lands. We appreciate the long-term vision necessary to set these policies in place so that our people will continue to have a cultural and spiritual connection to our lands, waters, and animals for generations to come.

While this policy provides increased protection for our sacred lands, it does not clarify the geographic coverage of the policy, nor does the company include a fulsome commitment to protect the human rights of Indigenous Peoples wherever there are impacts. A more fulsome policy would also include a commitment to operationalizing Indigenous Peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). 

An update on global insurance company policies is set to be released in March 2022 with the list of companies that have publicly released statements and are standing with the Gwich’in Nation to protect the Arctic Refuge. 

###

The Gwich’in Steering Committee was formed in 1988 in response to proposals to drill for oil in the Sacred Place Where Life Begins, the coastal plain of the  Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Fulton County Subpoenas of Trump Allies Offer Hope 'That Justice Will Ultimately Be Served'

"The coordinated attempts by former President Donald Trump and his associates to discount and ignore the will of Georgian voters during the 2020 election cannot be swept under the rug," said one activist.

Jessica Corbett ·


Russian Official Makes Nuclear Threat Over US Support for Ukraine War Crimes Probe

Another official responded to Western sanctions by suggesting that Russia could reclaim Alaska.

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Denounced for Imposing New Sanctions as Iran Nuclear Talks Falter

One Middle East expert accused the U.S. administration of "continuing and embracing Trump's max pressure policy, while expecting a different result."

Brett Wilkins ·


Under 'Draconian Abortion Ban,' Woman in El Salvador Sentenced to 50 Years for Pregnancy Loss

Laws like El Salvador's are "now being replicated in states across the U.S.," noted one observer.

Julia Conley ·


Warren, Sanders, and Others Blast Biden's 'Failure' on Federal Cannabis Policy

While commending Biden's pardons and commutations, six senators wrote that "much more has to be done to address the racist and harmful legacy of cannabis policies on Black and Brown communities."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo