There are legitimate points of view here on both sides. The Tribe is a sovereign nation. As such, they have rights, to hunt and fish in their usual and accustomed places. However, given the perilous nature of whales, and what we know of them now that we didn’t know then, in “traditional” days, should give any modern purpose pause. I seem to remember that much of the last whale was wasted, as the tribe didn’t eat much of it, but I could be remembering wrong. Would love to have someone who was there tell me how much of the whale was actually used by the Tribe.
Many traditional ceremonies have been supplanted by modern equivalents. Female genital mutilation is a traditional ceremony, which has been ended in many parts of the world. It would be great to see the Makah honor the whales by continuing to protect them, and create an alternative that would work for their youth. Barring that, it would be appropriate for people to boycott going to the reservation to show their dislike for this slaughter of an intellegent, beautiful being that is being destroyed all over the planet by hunting, changing climate, dwindling diet, and more. Do I have to be the to remind readers that hundreds of whales have died, many of starvation, over the last few years, their bodies piling up along the Alaska coast in remote areas.
Some tribes believe in doing things to support seven generations out. I have a hard time understanding how killing whales is going to support that. But the Makahs have their reasons. Here’s hoping they come to a better solution to the problems facing their youth.
The Makah are the only Native Americans with a treaty right to hunt whales, but they have not been allowed to do so for 20 years. A recent proposal could change that.