Mary Simon's response to comments made by Paul Watson

Mary Simon's response to comments made by Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

From Mary Simon's Blog.

I am shocked and appalled at the comments by Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society published in newspapers across Canada regarding the hunt of narwhals in Nunavut this week. His comments were vicious towards Inuit. They demonstrate a complete and utter ignorance of our Inuit society, history and traditions. He, like all individuals in trust positions are accountable for their words and actions. There should be no place in our societies for commentary such as his. His words are not conservationist in nature - they are extremist. He should be removed from his position for spreading hatred towards Inuit. I am asking for an apology from Mr. Watson to Inuit and a full retraction of his comments. Futher I intend to seek advice on the options that Inuit may want to pursue.

We are one of the First Peoples in this great country called Canada. We have signed comprehensive land claim agreements with the Crown which absolutely protect our ancestral hunting and fishing rights for time immemorial. These constitutionally protected rights are fundamental to the preservation of our Inuit society and are intrinsically linked with the preservation and promotion of our language and culture.

The Narwhal Whale cull was not something Inuit wanted to do for their own enjoyment - it was done because it was the humane thing to do to prevent these animals from a tortuous death from starvation and drowning.   We will not have our culture and way of life dictated by outsiders, especially animal rights extremists like Paul Watson.
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25 January 2009

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