Whaling opponent changes mind to support Makah tribe’s request; turnaround shocks those at Port Angeles meeting – PDN


I don’t think that any of us that understand the Treaties our government made with the Tribes of this country would say that the Makah don’t have the right to hunt whales. The question is, in this day and time, is it the right thing to do? Many old rights, that once were considered ‘normal’ are now considered the wrong thing to do, environmentally, especially. I think of old mining and timber practices, fishing out all the fish in an area, etc. To me, looking from the outside in on this, is that the killing of whales simply to sustain a traditional practice, in light of all we now know about whales, is a wrong thing to do, no matter what the reason based on tradition or even religion. It would be interesting to see a tribe come up with a new way to honor traditions that also honors the whale. Killing the whale does not honor it. It kills it. And from what I saw of the reports last time, it wasn’t even used other than for small samples of meat that were distributed. Hardly like in the days when the entire animal was used to support a village for  a long time. The Makah are huge supporters of environmental protection projects, such as the oil spill emergency response vessel in Neah Bay. Surely they can find the right way forward for both them and the whales.

At least one mind changed sides Wednesday at a public meeting on the Makah tribe’s request to resume whaling, turning upon a flow of tears shed by a man who said he’d swum with whales. Gary Michael Lee of Salt Spring Island, B.C., led off the 19 people who testified at a NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service public hearing… He first urged NOAA Fisheries administrators to deny the Makah request for a waiver from the Marine Mammal Protection Act. But after 18 others had spoken — 15 in favor of whaling — Lee returned to the lectern about an hour later and tearfully renounced his point of view. “I’ve listened to all this testimony, and I’m moved,” he said. “These [whales] are valuable creatures, but a deal [the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay] has been made. James Casey reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150430/NEWS/304309973/whaling-opponent-changes-mind-to-support-makah-tribes-request

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