Sea Legacy, the group behind the now infamous video of the starving polar bear, was not only criticized for not intervening to help the struggling creature, but the Canadian Inuit Tribal leader alleges one of the group’s leaders made factually untrue and racist claims about native polar bear hunting.
In an email sent Tuesday by SeaLegacy co-founder Cristina Mittermeier, she told the hosts of the Canadian Broadcasting Company‘s show As It Happens:
Inuit people make a lot of money from polar bear trophy hunting. Of course it is in their best interest to say that polar bears are happy and healthy and that climate change is a joke, because otherwise their quota might be reduced.
While Mittermeier later apologized for her remarks, as it turns out, the emaciated polar bear was filmed near Baffin Island in Nunavut. The bear was pitched as the face of climate change by American and Canadian mainstream media, but environmentalists also attempted to claim that Inuit hunters are skeptical of climate change only to protect their bottom line.
Polar bears are hunted by Inuit natives mainly for food in which hunters told CBC not only is it part of their culture but polar bear meat is very nutritious and can feed a lot of Inuit tribes people. One polar bear, for example, can provide over four hundred pounds of meat.
While native tribes don’t deny climate change, however, a report released in March by the Canada-Greenland Joint Commission on Polar Bear found the animal’s populations are either steady or increasing despite concerns about climate change affecting polar bear populations resulting from melting sea ice.
Even though Greenpeace has expressed regret, Canadian native Indians have contentious relationships with environmentalists. This is largely due to what happened to the Nunnavut people during the 1970’s at the hands of Greenpeace.
A couple of years ago, National Post reported a controversy surrounding Greenpeace in Nunavut resulting from the green group’s opposition to whale and seal hunting. The Nunavut people not only blame Greenpeace for destroying one of the tribal people’s only revenue sources, but also for driving once-proud hunters to welfare dependency and even suicide.
A people and their way of life were destroyed by the efforts of environmentalists who sought to save whales and seals and while doing so, obliterated the lives of native Canadian Indians in the process. Despite her apology, Cristina Mittermeier’s statement about Inuit polar bear hunting is an indication that, deep down inside, she and her fellow environmentalists would do what Greenpeace to the Nunavut indians did all over again and not bat one tear in the process.