Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/30/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Longest inhabitants of North America fear their delicate food chain will be disrupted

The Inuit community of the coast of Alaska is North America's longest known inhabitants, with a lineage dating back to 800 B.C. Now, Shell Oil has finally been given permission to begin exploratory drilling there after decades of legal wrangling. The native people there view this development with dread, as they far it will cut off the delicate marine life that is their main source of food.

The ritual of the Inupiat is dictated by environmental concerns. They are only allowed to catch 10 bowhead whales a year and the first nine boats to harpoon the whale receive shares.

The ritual of the Inupiat is dictated by environmental concerns. They are only allowed to catch 10 bowhead whales a year and the first nine boats to harpoon the whale receive shares.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/30/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Bowhead whale, Inuit, Alaska, oil exploration, drilling, environmental concerns, food supply


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fishing and hunting are central to the Inupiat way of life, in particular the Bowhead whale.  "We are the oldest continuous inhabitants of North America," Point Hope's Mayor Steve Oomituk says. "We've been here thousands of years."

The small community of only 800 people fears that their food chain will be destroyed. Over 80 percent of the food eaten in Point Hope is caught by the people themselves.

They say that the exploration will disrupt the migration routes of the marine mammals, driving them away from the coastal waters. "Their proposed Arctic drilling is right in the path of the animals' migration routes," Oomituk says.

"We live in a cycle of life that hasn't changed for thousands of years. We know where the animals are coming. We know when they are going north, when they are going south, this is our home, our land, our identity as a people."

Oomituk recognizes the national need for an independent fuel source. A very poor community, jobs are also a major concern. While he says that many people would benefit from a new local employer, it would end a way of life here that has endured for thousands of years.

"You want jobs for the people, you want the economy to come up, but do you want to sacrifice your way of life to have that happen? To endanger a way of life that's been here for time immemorial?"

The ritual of the Inupiat is dictated by environmental concerns. They are only allowed to catch 10 bowhead whales a year and the first nine boats to harpoon the whale receive shares. The lead whaling crew divides the head between them. The butchered skull is then returned to the sea, whereupon the skull will "dress itself again" and become another whale. The flipper is then pickled and offered to the elders.

The U.S. Congress imposed a moratorium on offshore oil or gas drilling in 1981. A move to explore the nation's natural resources in order to provide an independent energy source has gained momentum over the last several years. Onetime vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin called for an end to the ban, with the slogan "Drill, baby, drill". President Barack Obama at one time opposed it, but once elected, he allowed drilling in some offshore areas, including the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska.

"If they have jobs I will work for them no problem," one resident says. He adds that "If an oil rig spilled and made a mess of the ocean, how am I ever going to eat a whale that's not contaminated? Crude oil stays on the bottom of the ocean."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


Toward a Christian Vision of Human Work On Labor Day Watch

Image of Christians need to bear witness in the real world to the true value, purpose, meaning and dignity of all human work - just as we bear witness to the inherent value and dignity of every human worker. This is a vital part of our witness to an age which has lost its way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Adam and Eve worked in the garden and it brought them great joy. For the Christian, work is meant to become a participation in the continuing redemptive mission of Jesus, and His ongoing work. Jesus viewed his entire life and mission as work. He was always doing ... continue reading


American Islamic terrorist Fort Hood shooter requests to join Islamic State as a 'citizen' Watch

Image of Nadal Hasan, the man who killed 13 people during a rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, has written a letter to the Islamic State asking to join the terrorist organization as a citizen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood back in November 2009 has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State's caliphate, an attorney of Husan reported on August 28. LOS ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... continue reading


Should Americans have job preference over unskilled-illegal immigrants? President Obama doesn't think so Watch

Image of New polls are showing that Americans are tired of illegal immigrants getting benefits at the expense of citizens and legal immigrants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to the Associated Press: "one of the more popular requests among business and family groups is a change in the way green cards are counted," which would "essentially free up some 800,000 additional visas the first year." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 1:26-31
26 Consider, brothers, how you were called; not many ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:12-13, 18-19, 20-21
12 How blessed the nation whose God is Yahweh, the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:14-30
14 'It is like a man about to go abroad who summoned ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 30th, 2014 Image

St. Rumon
August 30: St. Rumon, also known as Ruan, Ronan, and Ruadan, was probably a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter