First Person Radio hosts Laura Waterman Wittstock and Richard LaFortune talk with Sarah James, a native Gwich'in from Arctic Village, Alaska, USA, and a board member of the International Indian Treaty Council. She was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2002, together with Jonathon Solomon and Norma Kassi. They received the prize for their struggles for protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) from plans of oil exploration and drilling. Oil and gas exploration would disturb the life cycle of the Porcupine caribou, a foundation of the Gwich'in culture for 20,000 years.
Sarah is the board chair and a spokesperson for the Gwich’in Steering Committee, and has educated people around the world about the porcupine-caribou herd and the importance of protecting “the Sacred Place where Life Begins” (the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) from oil exploration and drilling. She has received many awards, including the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, the National Conservation Land Trust Award and the Ecotrust Award for Indigenous Leadership