Reinstilling pride in the Inuit seal hunt

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Aaju Peter. (Michelle Varberg/Courtesy Aaju Peter)
“There’s a big lack of understanding in the European community,” says Aaju Peter. “(The seal ban) has effected us so negatively: economically, culturally and socially.” (Michelle Varberg/Courtesy Aaju Peter)
This month, Inuit launched a new offensive in their battle against the EU seal ban.

The 2009 EU law bans the import of seal products in the European Union.

The policy had an immediate and devastating effect on Inuit  and indigenous communities around the circumpolar world.

Despite an Inuit exemption in the the law, the political and public rhetoric around the law, effectively killed the market for seal products, whether they were produced by Inuit or not.

Inuit Sila, an organization that represented Inuit hunters in Greenland, established itself as an NGO on October 1, 2015 to represent Inuit seal hunters all across the Arctic,.

It’s a move they hope will allow them to better fight the EU ban and the ongoing negative consequences it’s having on indigenous Arctic communities.

Feature Interview
Eye on the Arctic spoke with Inuit Sila spokesperson Aaju Peter about the ban and how its impacts on Inuit aren’t just financial, but emotional and cultural as well:

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Nunavut gets EU exemption for seal products, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Sámi politician calls Finland “racist country”, Yle News

Greenland: Inuit launch new offensive against seal ban, Eye on the Arctic

Norway:  Norway visa rules worry indigenous peoples, Barents Observer

Sweden:  Sami demand rights as indigenous people, Radio Sweden

Russia: Russia brands Arctic indigenous organization as “foreign agent”, Barents Observer

United States:  Arctic conference spotlights indigenous issues, Alaska Dispatch News

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Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is a journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic circumpolar news project. At Eye on the Arctic, Eilís has produced documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the circumpolar world. Her documentary Bridging the Divide was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards. Eilís began reporting on the North in 2001. Her work as a reporter in Canada and the United States, and as TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China" has taken her to some of the world’s coldest regions including the Tibetan mountains, Greenland and Alaska; along with the Arctic regions of Canada, Russia, Norway and Iceland.

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