Column: Makah Nation shouldn't hunt whales

"If you don't hunt whales, can you be a Makah?

I think so. There is no other sustainable choice.

A genetic study published Monday claims gray-whale populations have not recovered, that the decision to take them off the endangered list was based on estimates of their past population that were too low.

Hunting a species in distress just keeps the Makah Tribe under pressure.

They have enough pressure already. Whales are scarce but so are jobs and opportunities on the Makah reservation.

The Makah are right to want something that will give them a strong sense of purpose, but it probably isn't going to be whaling.

They're not alone in the struggle to define themselves, a challenge that changing circumstances bring to every group eventually. But it is particularly difficult when you are a small, poor group in the midst of a large, dynamic society.

I don't have an answer for the tribe, but neither did the men in those boats.

All I know is that hunting whales can't be part of the solution anymore."

Get the Story:
Jerry Large: Makah face a whale of a dilemma (The Seattle Times 9/13)

Relevant Documents:
Tribal Council Statement | Makah Tribal Whale Hunt | Marine Mammal Protection Act

Court Decisions:
Anderson v. Evans (June 7, 2004) | Anderson v. Evans (December 20, 2002)

Relevant Links:
Makah Nation -

Related Stories:
Makah Nation hires former Slade Gorton aide (9/12)
Editorial: Illegal hunt may be last for Makah Nation (9/12)
Unauthorized hunt likely to delay action on permit (9/11)
Editorial: Makah Nation reacts swiftly to rogue hunt (9/11)
Editorial: Illegal whale hunters must be punished (9/11)
Makah Nation blasts unauthorized whale hunt (9/10)
Makah Nation to discuss rogue hunt on Capitol Hill (9/10)
Russian Natives, Makah Nation share culture, whales (10/25)
Appeals court shoots down Makah whaling case (06/08)
Makah Nation marks fifth year since first whale hunt (05/17)
Tribes and U.S. seek review of whale hunt ruling (03/14)
Opinion: Makah Nation whale hunt is not legal (02/12)
Makah whale hunt faces another review (12/23)
Federal judge shoots down treaty challenge (08/09)
U.S. pushes for whaling rights (6/10)
Whale hunt a go for Makah Nation (7/16)
Makah whale hunt faces threat (3/30)
Friends, foes turn out for Makah hearing (2/2)
Makah whale hunt up for review (01/16)
Court rules on Makah whaling (6/12)
Makah ruling overturned (6/9)
Metcalf's Indian history (6/9)
Metcalf pleased with ruling (6/9)