“Yeti hnu bugh yagheli est tsedi: Whatever you do in life I hope you succeed in good health.”- A Dena’ina blessing.
On the bending blue grass of the Chuitna River, two hired guards walk the bank, monitoring the river for potential poachers and trespassers.
One carries a rifle “in case there are bears,” he says.
An Iliamna Native group closest to the proposed Pebble Mine site is standing against a lawsuit filed in Anchorage Superior Court last week that seeks to stop the development.
According to a lawsuit brought by Nunamta Aulukesta and other Bristol Bay residents, the state’s Department of Natural Resources violated the Alaska Constitution by granting permits allowing exploration. The groups accuse the department of issuing permits while failing to consider whether the mine is in the public’s interest.