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Makah Nation: Our right to whaling is being denied

"The Makah Tribe recently observed the 150th anniversary of our treaty with the U.S. government. One essential component of this solemn observance was missing: whale meat. That's because our right to harvest whales is systematically being denied purely on the basis of raw emotion, despite our treaty-guaranteed right to harvest whales in our traditional areas.

We are a whaling people. Whales have always been central to our culture. Whales are so important to us that we voluntarily stopped hunting them in the 1920s because non-Indian commercial whaling was decimating gray whale populations.

Despite the cultural importance of whales to our society, despite our treaty-guaranteed right to harvest whales, and despite scientific assessments that say our harvest will not harm gray whale populations, we continue to be denied our constitutionally guaranteed right. To us, harvesting a whale is the same as harvesting a salmon, deer or elk. Just because our traditions may be different from the dominant non-Indian society, it doesn't mean they are wrong, just different."

Get the Story:
Ben Johnson and David Sones: We should not be denied our right to harvest whales (The Seattle Times 6/2)

Relevant Links:
Makah Nation -

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