Sarah James

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Sarah James
Born1944 (age 75–76)
Fort Yukon, Alaska
NationalityAmerican, native Gwich'in

Sarah Agnes James (born 1946) is a native Neets'aii 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,[1] 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, which has been a foundation for the Gwich'in culture for 20,000 years.[1]

Politics and lobbying[edit]

In November 1969, James joined a group of indigenous students lead by Mohawk activist Richard Oakes that occupied the former prison island Alcatraz in San Francisco, CA.[2]

In the 1990s James visited communities in South American countries (Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala), speaking for the underprivileged. She also appeared on television programs (CNN, MacNeil-Lehrer, CBS). And she traveled to Washington, trying to clear up concepts that they believe petroleum companies misrepresent, and speaking for preservation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.[3]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 1993, she was awarded the Alston Bannerman Fellowship[4]. In 2001 she received the "Leadership for a Changing World" grant awarded for outstanding but little known leaders[5]. In 2002 she was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for "grassroots environmentalists along with Jonathon Solomon Sr., and Norma Kassi[6][7]. She also received the National Conservation Land Trust Award in 2002. In 2004, she received the "Ecotrust Award for Indigenous Leadership"[8], and in 2006 she earned the Alaska Conservation Foundation "Celia Hunter Award for Outstanding Conservations"[9].


  1. ^ a b Goldman Environmental Prize: "Sarah James" Archived 2007-12-04 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved on November 29, 2007)
  2. ^ Harball, Elizabeth; Anchorage, Alaska's Energy Desk- (2019-07-17). "'We're never going to surrender' - Sarah James on a life fighting oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge". Alaska Public Media. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  3. ^ Bert Gildart: "The power of one in a remote land" The Christian Science Monitor (Retrieved on December 30, 2007)
  4. ^ "What Fellows Say". Retrieved 2020-07-12.
  5. ^ "Womens Hall of Fame Sarah Agnes James » » Alumnae". Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2020-07-12.
  6. ^ "Sarah James & Norma Kassi & Jonathon Solomon". Goldman Environmental Foundation. Retrieved 2020-07-12.
  7. ^ "Womens Hall of Fame Sarah Agnes James » » Alumnae". Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2020-07-12.
  8. ^ "2004 Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award Honoree: Sarah James". Retrieved 2020-07-12.
  9. ^ "All Award Recipients | Alaska Conservation Foundation". Retrieved 2020-07-12.