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Spirits of Our Whaling Ancestors

Following the removal of the gray whale from the Endangered Species list in 1994, the Makah tribe of northwest Washington State and the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation of British Columbia announced that they would revive their whale hunts. The Makah whale hunt of 1999 was met with enthusiastic support and vehement opposition. A member of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation, Charlotte Coté offers a valuable perspective on the issues surrounding Indigenous whaling. Her analysis includes major Aboriginal studies and contemporary Aboriginal rights issues, addressing environmentalism, animal rights activism, anti-treaty conservatism, and the public’s expectations about what it means to be “Indian.”