Faith Gemmill is a Pit River/ Wintu and Neets'aii Gwich'in Athabascan from Arctic Village, Alaska.
Faith is the current outreach coordinator for REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands). REDOIL was formed in 2002 by a group of Alaska Natives representing each region of Alaska to share knowledge, experience and strategies to address the detrimental impacts of oil and gas development in Alaska. The REDOIL network will address the disproportionate impacts of the fossil fuel industry on Alaska Native Sovereignty and Self-Determination, Subsistence, Human and Ecological Health and Climate Change. REDOIL is a project of the Indigenous Environmental Network.
Faith previously worked on behalf of the Gwich'in Nation for over ten years as a representative, public spokesperson and Gwich'in Steering Committee staff to address the potential human health and cultural impacts of proposed oil development and production of the birthplace and nursery of the Porcupine Caribou Herd which is located within the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Gwich'in Nation is comprised of fifteen communities in Northeast Alaska and Northwest Canada. They rely on the Porcupine (River) Caribou Herd to meet their essential physical, cultural, spiritual and social needs. The serious threat of proposed oil development in the birthplace and nursery grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd is a threat to the very future of the Gwich'in. The final mandate of the Gwich'in elders and leadership is to build awareness and solidarity "In a Good Way" to promote permanent protection of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Faith continues as a public spokesperson, press and tribal liaison and human rights advocate.
Faith is a current field representative of the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) The International Indian Treaty Council is an organization of Indigenous Peoples from North, Central, South America and the Pacific working for the Sovereignty and Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands. In this capacity Faith has represented the Gwich'in Nation within appropriate mechanisms of the United Nations to advocate for the recognition of Gwich'in human rights as well as work for the rights and recognition of Indigenous Peoples.
Faith serves on the advisory board of Honor the Earth. Honor the Earth creates awareness and support for Native environmental issues and develops needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities. Honor the Earth develops these resources by using music, the arts, the media, and Indigenous wisdom to ask people to recognize our joint dependency on the Earth and be a voice for those not heard.
Faith is part of the New Voices on Climate Change, Climate Justice Tour presented by:
Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands
Human Rights and Oil
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
If you would like to plan a speaking event with Faith, please please contact Hallie Boas at (415) 336-6590 or email her at redoil1 [at] acsalaska.net