Tanya Tagaq has fired back at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals after the organization issued a statement critical of seal hunt comments she made while accepting the Polaris music award on Monday.

On Wednesday, Tagaq tweeted "I had a scrolling screen of 1200 missing and murdered indigenous women at the Polaris gala but people are losing their minds over seals."

The scrolling screen was behind Tagaq during her performance at the award gala.

In her acceptance speech of the Polaris Prize, Tagaq took a moment to encourage people to support the seal hunt. She also used the F-word to criticize PETA and its anti-sealing campaign.

In a statement PETA said it was surprised by Tagaq’s "ill-informed rant," saying it has never campaigned against the indigenous seal hunt.

“Our fight is — and always has been — against the East Coast commercial slaughter, which is run by white people who bilk Canadians for millions in tax dollars in order to prop up the non-existent seal trade,” the statement reads.

Inuit have been arguing since the 1980s that any attack on the seal hunt is an attack on the indigenous hunt, because it destroys the market for furs.

PETA's statement also says "Tanya should stop posing her baby with a dead seal and read more," referring to a recent incident when a photo of Tagaq's baby next to a dead seal drew death threats on social media. 

Tagaq, an Inuk herself, grew up in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, where seal hunting has been a way of life for centuries. 


  • An earlier version of this story stated PETA supports indigenous seal hunts. PETA's statement said it does not campaign against indigenous seal hunts.
    Sep 24, 2014 3:45 PM CT