Wednesday May 04, 2016
'Angry Inuk' argues anti-seal hunt campaign hurts Canadian Inuit life
If the Inuit want to hang onto their traditional indigenous culture, does that mean they can't make money at the same time?
The Inuit live and die by the seal. As anti-sealing campaigns push to implement a ban on seal products, the voices of the north want to be heard — their traditional indigenous culture is at stake.
Angry Inuk, a new documentary film, makes the case that animal rights groups' efforts to ban the seal hunt in Canada's North have actually backfired. The film argues the ban affects the Inuit way of life and the people of the Canadian Arctic are collateral damage.
The film's director, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, says by causing the collapse of the commercial seal hunt, they've forced the Inuit to turn to the mining and gas industry to support themselves — an option that puts more pressure on an already fragile Arctic environment.
But supporters of the European Union ban on selling seal products say there is an exception that allows the Inuit to continue to hunt and sell products in order to supply the seal fur market demand.
Angry Inuk is screening at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto.
Guests in this segment:
- Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, director of Angry Inuk. Her other documentaries are Lumaajuuq and Inuit High Kick.
- Sheryl Fink, director of the Canadian wildlife campaign for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry.