Canadian Banks: Don't Finance the Destruction of the Arctic Refuge

As soon as this upcoming summer, the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge could be going to the highest bidder for oil drilling. The Gwich’in call the coastal plain “Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit” or “the sacred place where life begins.” It’s the calving and nursery grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, a key food source for the Gwich’in people.

Donald Trump is pushing this destructive project through. That’s why we have to stop banks and investors from funding drilling projects that could wreck the Arctic Refuge. This includes pressuring the Big Five Canadian banks.

Already Canada’s top banks are doing their part to accelerate climate change and undermine Indigenous rights by throwing oodles of funding at tar sands projects. But because they’re overachievers, executives at these banks may decide to go further and directly fund Arctic destruction too. Let’s tell them this does not look good.

Canadian Banks - Refuse to finance drilling in the Arctic Refuge

To Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, and CIBC:

I urge you to withhold financing any and all oil development and drilling in the Arctic Refuge, birthplace of the Porcupine caribou herd. Oil activity in this special place is a violation of human rights of the Gwich’in people, and poses unacceptable reputational and financial risk for your company.

The Arctic Refuge is sacred land for the Gwich’in Nation, who have lived in the region for countless generations and are unanimous in their defense of it. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge would have devastating human and ecological impacts and would industrialize one of North America’s last wild places. Any oil and gas company that tries to drill in the Refuge -- and by extension, any bank that finances their activities -- will undoubtedly face enormous public and investor backlash.