Indigenous leader Speak Out on Rampant Plastic Pollution in The Arctic

Vi Waghiyi, environmental and justice program director at Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), spoke to Canada’s National Observer about how Arctic Indigenous Peoples across Alaska eat ancestral foods for spiritual and cultural health despite the risks of higher chemical and plastics pollution.

She calls the plastics and chemical crisis “environmental violence,” given their high accumulation in the ancestral Arctic food system.

It has led to higher rates of miscarriages and cancer. Waghiyi herself is a cancer survivor and has had three miscarriages. Now she campaigns, advocates and conducts community research that she presents worldwide.

She has been in Stockholm at the Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants five times, and was appointed by U.S. President Joe Biden to sit on the Environmental Justice Advisory Board. Waghiyi is finally being heard, she the Observer.

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