Group accuses Native village of killing two children

A group that opposed the Makah Nation's whale hunt is stirring up strong sentiments in Alaska after accusing a Native village of killing two children on a recent whaling expedition.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society issued a statement [Text] last week calling on the U.S. Coast Guard to investigate a whaling accident that claimed the lives of two young Natives from the village of Gambrell. The statement blamed the village for the deaths of Yolanda Nowpakahok and Leonard Nowpakahok, both 11.

In response, village vice president Branson Tungiya is demanding an apology. "WE DID NOT KILL THOSE TWO CHILDREN," he wrote in a letter to the group, The Anchorage Daily News reported.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is headed by Paul Watson, a controversial figure in conservation circles. He claims to have served as a medic during the 1973 Wounded Knee crisis on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Native leaders say they don't recall his presence.

Get the Story:
Letter about kids upsets Gambell (The Anchorage Daily News 5/9)

Relevant Links:
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society -

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Three missing, presumed dead in whaling incident (04/29)