An Ancient Bond with the Land
Arctic Whalers Today
American and European commercial whalers had almost completely destroyed whale stocks in the Canadian Arctic by the early twentieth century. The traditional Inuit hunt lapsed, because of a collapse of whale populations and bans by government regulators.
By the 1990s, however, whale populations were beginning to recover, particularly in the Western Arctic. Eager to renew the important spiritual bond with the natural world which whaling represents, and to reassert their right to govern themselves, Inuit have begun hunting whales again. Although hunts are few in number, they have great symbolic importance - the reassertion of a political right and an ancient spiritual connection.
"The desire to whale was instilled into us by our forefathers. It continues today...."
Herbert Anungazuk, Inuit Elder, from