A young man from Gambell is under vicious attack for doing what his culture expects of him, namely providing for his family and community when the opportunity arises.
A recent successful whale hunt has been turned into a witch hunt and unfortunately those who scream the loudest have the least insight into what actually occurs when spring rolls around in the Arctic: People and other mammals hunt for food.
There are no organic grocery stores by the dozen in our communities.
There are no fresh and endless supplies of greens, fruit, vegetables, and all kinds of meat in our communities.
There are no roads to quickly drive to modern-day conveniences that the rest of the overcivilized world so lazily enjoys.
Heck, there is not even running water and no flush toilets in some of the communities.
However, if we are lucky and if the weather amidst a changing climate cooperates, there is an abundance of subsistence foods and knowledge that allows people to survive and even thrive here.
For members of a culture that is based on material excesses, convenience and a “me-first” attitude to self-righteously deny other people a subsistence way of life, is the real outrage.
It is almost impossible to rationally explain to an urbanized culture fed on feedlot cattle and far removed from the forces of nature that hunting for “organic” wild grown animals is OK.
We should form a protective circle around this young Gambell provider, advise him to weather this storm and to patiently forgive the misinformed, who will never understand what it takes to live in the Arctic. —D.H.—