Pacific Environment collaborates with communities, Indigenous organizations, and Tribes throughout Alaska facing resource extraction and exportation activities that threaten traditional cultures, foods, and ways of life. We act as a catalyst for communities to have a meaningful voice locally, nationally, and internationally to shape policies around shipping and resource development in the Arctic, such as offshore oil and gas and coal. Pacific Environment operates as a bridge between environmental organizations and communities working for a common goal, ensuring meaningful cross-pollination of Indigenous rights and environmental rights in order to ensure environmental and social justice.
Beginning in 2008, Pacific Environment has organized three cultural exchanges between Indigenous leaders working on Indigenous issues and a traditional way of life from Alaska's Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope and Evenk tribal leaders in the Sakha Republic in Russia. The first exchange, in 2008, brought Evenk leaders from the Sakha Republic to Barrow, Alaska for information-sharing and a cultural exchange that resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding, under which the communities agreed to mutual support for efforts to protect Indigenous peoples' rights and preserve traditional lands in the face of industrial development. Through these exchanges, Indigenous leaders convened to share experiences and to learn from each other. Participants discussed their communities' approach to protecting traditional lands, participation in decision-making processes regarding natural resource use, and community leaders' experience negotiating with resource extraction companies and monitoring industrial projects.
Pacific Environment further supports communities by providing internship opportunities to community members. Since 2010, two interns have worked with the Alaska Program staff on issues ranging from offshore oil and gas development to international shipping policy in the Arctic. These opportunities provide further training and experience for community and tribal members working to maintain their traditional lifestyle.