Letter: Celebrate Native American Heritage with action 

November 11, 2023

It’s Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month. Let’s not give yet another perfunctory acknowledgment of past injustices. 

If not stopped, the Willow Project will destroy environments, produce millions of tons of planet-warming carbon, and threaten the livelihood and health of Indigenous communities. In acknowledgment that November is Native American and Alaskan Heritage Month, the White House website states that with “a commitment to our founding ideals, we can address the wrongs of our past and become a more perfect Union — one that ensures liberty, justice, dignity, and equality for all.” NAHM is a perfect time to demand that the largest oil and gas project in the U.S. to date stop immediately.  

In March of 2023, Biden approved an oil drilling project in the Alaskan National Petroleum Reserve which will release 9.2 million metric tons of carbon pollution yearly. Virtually no research has been done on the effect the project will have on the caribou herds that native communities rely on, but we already know that drilling and extraction negatively impact fish and air quality. Willow will double the emissions the administration had hoped to prevent via renewables.  

I take pride in the values that our town and state boast. Concord is poised to prohibit using fossil fuel in new building construction. Last September, the CPL organized an event series on the “intersection of climate change and the broader social justice movement.” A few weeks ago, energy efficiency and social equity concerns drove citizens to protest the expansion of Hanscom Field. We have an obligation to set our sights beyond our own backyard.  

Let’s honor NAHM in a meaningful way by asking local representatives to adhere to Biden’s promise to create a carbon pollution-free power sector. Willow can still be stopped, but with prompt and ample community action.  

Zoe Green  

Main Street