Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On Canadian government seal-eating

From ADN's Alaska Politics:
Canada's gov. general eats slaughtered seal's raw heart in show of support to the country's seal hunters.

Governor General Michaelle Jean, the representative of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as Canada's head of state, gutted the seal and swallowed a slice of the mammal's organ late Monday after an EU vote earlier this month to impose a ban on seal products on grounds that the seal hunt is cruel.

I have never eaten RAW seal, but seal stew=delicious! Seal oil, even more so!

This is kind of a funny answer to some friends' questions about why Native people and environmentalists don't work more closely together on seemingly similar interests. A "for instance":

A group I (traditional) danced with was asked by an environmental group to dance at a big conference. As we walked into the event, we walked by huge posters of seals, caribou, etc... and our deer skin drums and fur-lined headdresses became a bit more conspicous. Our dance leader: "Hmm... wonder what they're going to think about our (seal skin) moccasins..?.."

I'm not familiar with Canada's seal hunting struggle, but I'm sure it's not too dissimilar from our own subsistence struggles. To be honest, I've had seal meat, or even seal oil, much more rarely as I grow older. It is, understandably, much harder to get here in Anchorage, but even in Southeast Alaska it is being hunted less and less. I can imagine this might also be true around the rest of Alaska. It is one of those practices that I wonder, when I am an old woman, will it still be around?

1 comment:

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