Spirits of Our Whaling Ancestors

SKU: 9780774820530

Charlotte Cote
Grade Levels:
College, University
Makah, Nuuchahnulth, Pacific NW
Book Type:
UBC Press
Copyright Date:

Sale price$37.75


Spirits of Our Whaling Ancestors: Revitalizing Makah and Nuu-chah-nulth Traditions is a historical study by American Indian Studies professor Charlotte Cote. As a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation, she discusses the decision of the Makah and their relatives, the Nuu-chah-nulth, to resume their traditional practice of hunting the gray whale, after it was removed from the Endangered Species list in 1994. Neither First Nation had exercised their treaty right to hunt whales since commercial whalers had hunted the gray whale to near extinction in the 1920s. The Makah whale hunt of 1999 was an event of international significance, connected to the worldwide struggle for Aboriginal sovereignty and to the broader discourses of environmental sustainability, treaty rights, human rights, and animal rights. It was met with enthusiastic support and vehement opposition. Her analysis includes major Native studies and contemporary Native rights issues, and addresses environmentalism, animal rights activism, anti-treaty conservatism, and the public's expectations about what it means to be Indian. These thoughtful critiques are intertwined with the author's personal reflections, family stories, and information from Indigenous, anthropological, and historical sources to provide a bridge between cultures. This study brings a wealth of Indigenous knowledge to this environmental and legal issue.

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