Recommended reading:

  • A Whale Hunt, by R. Sullivan pp. 13-149
  • Traditional Knowledge of the Ecology of Belugas, Delphinapterus Ieucas, in Cook Inlet, Alaska, by Henry P. Huntington
    • This article discusses the TEK of Alaskan Natives with regard to a population of Beluga whales. You should look this over to support the reading from Sullivan's book on the Makah whaling controversy.
Presentations prepared by Dr. Raymond Pierotti

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Discussion questions to think about:

  1. Why does the Makah Nation feel that it is necessary to continue their traditional history of whaling?
  2. Why do the Makah need to justify their treaty right to resume whaling?
  3. Did the Makah need to go through the IWC and NOAA/NMFS permitting process to exercise their treaty right to whale?
  4. What did they stand to gain or to lose by doing this?
  5. What arguments might be made for not going through the permitting process?
  6. What are the pros and cons of taking each position?
  7. How would you explain Makah treaty rights to whale to non-Indian audiences?
  8. Racism and eco-colonialism:
    1. Some say that this case illustrates how racism and eco-colonialism are alive and well. Do you agree with this? Describe the various ways in which these are manifest here by citing specific examples in the case.
    2. Stereotypes and half-truths are often evidence of racism. Are these present in this case? Describe where you see these.

Links and Resources:

Native Case Institute, The Evergreen College, Olympia, Washington