Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Genius Arguement from the Anti-Sealing Crowd

Well, for all those anti-sealing whiners out there, here's one for you. No baby white-coats here. As a matter of fact, after 3 years in Nunavut I've never seen a whitecoat......until today actually - a couple of student art projects up on the wall at school with baby seals on them.

I came across perhaps the most ridiculous of arguements this evening on an anti-sealing website. The gist of it was that if Inuit wanted to hunt seals as they have always done traditionally, they should revert back to a totally traditional lifestyle of igloos, harpoons and shamans. Apparently, according to this genius, it would be only then that Inuit could have the right to hunt seals.

What Einstein fails to realize however, is that his Southern culture, through colonization, residential schools and Southern manufactured goods, has impacted traditional life to the extent that it cannot return to its former ways. I don't see all of these seal-hugging celebrities returning to the days of horses-and-buggies.

The fact is that cultures change. Inuit are simply trying to reclaim and hang on to a part of theirs. Anti-sealers babble on incessantly of "mass slaughters" -- what colour was Hitler, Stalin, or Pinochet?

Anti-sealing groups are just another example of a dominant culture trying to control the debate by making value judgements and setting the rules. I am not so arrogant as to suggest what they should believe or how they should live. Northerners of all shades simply ask for the same show of respect in return.