Makah whaling and the (non)ecological Indian
DOI link for Makah whaling and the (non)ecological Indian
Makah whaling and the (non)ecological Indian book
Once legendary whale hunters of the Pacific Northwest Coast, the Makah ceased whaling in the 1920s due, in part, to the depletion of whale populations brought about by European and American commercial whaling. Since that time, international and domestic practice and opinion had largely turned against whaling, so the tribe’s announcement in the mid-1990s that it wished to resume whaling set off a global firestorm that made this a site of intense political, legal, moral, spiritual, and physical struggle that continues to this day. As this chapter argues, however, the Makah whaling story also contains many distinctive elements—from the imagining of the “ecological Indian” in U.S. culture; to the special status of the whale as an intelligent mammal and environmental icon; to the vexing tangle of treaty rights, federal law, and international conservation law that contours this dispute; to the highly charged global politics of whaling; and to the unique political and legal status of Indigenous peoples as nations rather than minorities within the U.S.