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INUIT ASK EUROPEANS TO SUPPORT ITS SEAL HUNT AND WAY OF LIFE

Regarding Paul McCartney’s misinformation on CNN:

2006

Nuuk, Greenland – Inuit in Greenland are alarmed at reports in European capitals that some governments are contemplating legislation restricting sealskin imports.

“I appeal to all Europeans and their governments to put all thoughts of any trade restrictions regarding our way of life on immediate hold,” said Aqqaluk Lynge, President of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) in Greenland. “Our traditional Greenland seal hunt is sustainable. The meat plays an important part of the healthy Arctic diet and the trade of our sealskin coats to Europe helps our local village economies enormously”.

In past weeks, there have been confusing and misguided media reports in Europe about discussions between Greenland politicians and the publicly owned sealskin processing company, Great Greenland. The discussions have centered on to what degree the company should process sealskins from neighboring waters in Canada.

Some governments have taken these media reports to mean that Greenland has imposed an import ban on sealskins from Canada. ICC is alarmed that governments are enacting legislation based on this misinformation.

ICC is equally alarmed at animal rights organizations that are recruiting celebrities who are asked to give voice to these untruths. “I wish Paul McCartney would pay us a visit and have an frank, honest, and intelligent discussion with us here in Greenland about our way of life”, Mr. Lynge said, “instead of telling the media, by rote, what he is told to say by the anti-indigenous, anti-hunting animal rights people.”

ICC is appealing to Sir McCartney and other Europeans to focus rather on the real issue at hand, that is helping Inuit in their defense against the extremist animal rights movements that take every opportunity to denigrate hunting and living in a sustainable manner off the land and sea. “I saw the CNN interview with Paul McCartney and his wife stating that Greenland is boycotting Canadian products, which of course is untrue,” added Mr. Lynge, “and 90 percent of what else he said was pure rubbish. And he doesn’t even know it”.

“Government members of the World Trade Organization should think twice before they give their ear to the animal rights movement and impose illegal trade restrictions on indigenous peoples’ products,” added Mr. Lynge.

ICC represents Inuit from Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland and was established in 1977 to promote Inuit unity, culture, language, and traditional way of life. Virtually all Greenlanders are Inuit.

For more information, contact:

Aqqaluk Lynge, ICC Greenland President
tel: +299 32 36 32 cell +299 55 68 27
e-mail: aqqaluk@remove-this.inuit.org