ONC Wants To Survey Y-K Delta Villages About Donlin Gold

The camp for Donlin Gold employees is mostly empty this year as the company prepares for more permits.
Credit Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

The Orutsararmiut Native Council hopes to gauge how residents in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region feel about the proposed Donlin Gold mine. Last week, the council sent a survey to villages up and down the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers.

Mary Matthias is ONC’s Natural Resources Development Director. She says that the survey will gather much-needed information about how residents in villages understand the Donlin mine, which would be one of the biggest in the world.

“We felt that there was a need to create a survey to share with people throughout the region here whether they, the people, know about Donlin Gold or not,” Matthias said.

ONC marched against the Donlin mine last month and is the first tribe in the Y-K Delta to do so. The survey asks for residents’ observations and opinions about the Donlin mine.

“I specifically asked about their ways of life, if they knew about the impacts and what’s going to happen,” said Cynthia Allen, ONC’s Environmental Coordinator. Allen also drafted the survey.

The tribal governing body has not set a deadline for responses. ONC says that tribal members can also participate by calling ONC at 907-543-2608, or they can stop by and ask for the Natural Resources Department.