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Issue No: Six_____________
Part 1_____________Date:September, 1977
Hopson Says Whalers Will Hunt!


(Washington, D.C.)

Appearing with supporters from the Canadian Western Arctic, Labrador and Greenland, NSB Mayor Eben Hopson appeared before the National Marine Fisheries Service EIS hearings here on September 8 to say that regardless of the Government's decision on whether or not to object to the IWC's bowhead subsistence moratorium. Inupiat whalers will hunt the bowhead next spring because whaling is necessary to the survival of the Inupiat of the Arctic Slope. He cited the strong aboriginal rights to subsistence bowhead whaling as basic human rights over which the International Whaling Commission had no jurisdiction. And Hopson called for a cooperative, comprehensive bowhead stocks research and management program to determine once and for all whether the bowhead is a depleted species in need of subsistence hunting restrictions.

Charlie Watt, President, Northern Quebec Inuit Association, has become an important figure in the language politics of Quebec and the Canadian Federation. His defense of Inuit language rights in Northern Quebec has given courage to Quebec's large Protestant English-speaking people to resist Quebec's new French language charter, Bill 101.
Watt has called upon the Canadian government to exercise its trust responsibility to defend Inuit language rights.

His resistance may lead Ottawa to stop viewing the Land claims issue as "separationist" politics inspired by the separatism of French Quebec, and see the Inuit as a nationally integrated community of Loyal Canadians

Watt is shown here at the Inuit Circumpolar Conference last June in Barrow. He serves on the ICC Interior Committee. In Northern Quebec, it is hydroelectric development, not oil or gas, that is altering the Arctic Coastal Zone's environment. In future issues of the Newsletter, the huge James Bay Project of Hydro-Quebec will be reported. Charlie Watt and the Inuit of Northern Quebec are in the middle of the greatest Arctic Coastal Zone energy development project in the world, larger than Prudhoe Bay and the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline in scope and importance. -- Photo by Roderick

Native Language Rights Becoming Important Arctic Political Issue

When the U.S. Department of Commerce's Appeals Board Chairman Hugh Dolan failed to provide for Inupiaq testimony at his subsistence whaling moratorium Environmental Impact Statement hearings in Barrow, he tripped into a simmering political issue that is rapidly coming to boil across the Arctic, and throughout all of rural Alaska. When Charles Edwardsen led the Barrow whalers out of the hearings charging Dolan with attempting "English supremacy," he added a militant new phrase to what is known throughout the State as the "bilingual education" controversy. Edwardsen and his colleagues on the Interim Committee of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference had to abandon Montreal for Ottawa because of Quebec's violation of Inuit language rights in Northern Quebec, and the volatile political climate that the entire French language charter has produced throughout Quebec. The politics of language are beginning to heat up in Alaska, also. Accompanying Assistant Secretary of State Patsy Mink in Barrow was State Representative Thelma Buchholdt, Chairman of an interim legislative committee that is investigating the bilingual education controversy sparked last year when Civil Rights enforcement officers at the U.S.

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (DHEW) told State authorities that several millions in Federal education aid received annually by Alaska is endangered by widespread non-compliance of minimum Federal bilingual educational standards. She conducted hearings on this matter in Bethel and Nome in September, and will conduct hearings in Barrow in October. When she attended the University of Alaska's Cross-Cultural Educational Conference in Greenland last July, Buchholdt was impressed with the high degree of integration of Greenlandic in all walks of life, and believes that Greenland may be an important part of the solution to the question of language rights protection in the American Arctic. However, Rep. Buchholdt points out that Native language instruction has become a matter of controversy, with such urban constituencies as hers (Spenard) taking a completely different view of language rights and language instruction than rural Alaska. The NSB has been working with educators in Alaska, Greenland, and Canada to develop a comprehensive, circumpolar approach to this social problem. Part of this was the creation of the NSB Inupiaq Language Commission which recently asked NSB Mayor Eben Hopson to initiate Inupiaq literacy training for all NSB staff, including non-Inupiats who do not now know how to speak Inupiaq. Eben responded by agreeing to do so, and asked for instructions on how to best conduct this training. At the same time, the Language Commission, chaired by Edna Ahgeak MacLean of the U. of A.'s Native Language Program, wrote to the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission to request they place bilingual conditions on its support of Barrow's public radio station KBRW. The Language Commission wants bilingual announcers, only, so important does it regard radio broadcasting to be in the defense of Inupiaq as a necessary language of Arctic survival.


Barbara Blum, Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency addressed ICC delegates and offered her help in circumpolar Inuit community organization at Arctic environmental security. NSB Mayor Eben Hopson has since asked for Blum's help in preventing the use of explosives in all Arctic OCS seismic surveying. -- photo by Cysewski


Charles "Etok" Edwardsen, Jr., NSB Washington, D.C. Liaison, was elected Chairman of the Interim Committee that will serve as the governing board of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference until a permanent ICC charter is adopted. Elected Vice-Chairman were Josie Kusuguk, Inuit Cultural Center, Eskimo Point, NWT, and Moses Olsen, leader of Greenland's majority Siumut political party, Nuk, Greenland. Elections were held during the first meeting of the Interim Committee in Ottawa September 8th.


NSB Mayor Eben Hopson, Chairman of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, submitted a $1.5 million ICC budget plan for the coming year. Over half of the money budgeted would be spent on transportation expenses necessary for a truly democratic, village-by-village, region-by-region review and ratification of the ICC charter, being drafted by the ICC Interim Committee. The budget provides for a Canadian headquarters, and three separate national offices for Alaska, Canada and Greenland. The national offices would be housed within appropriate existing agencies in appropriate Arctic communities. Quiet solicitations are being made to selected oil and gas corporations, mainline Churches serving the Arctic, and interested foundations in Europe, Canada and the United States. The budget plan presented a "best-case" budget representing the most positive possible response to the ICC fund raising effort. Church and foundation solicitation is being assisted by the Metropolitan Ecumenical Ministry, Seattle.


When the Friends of the Earth representative, Pamela Rich, testified before the Washington, D.C. bowhead subsistence whaling EIS hearings on September 8th to support Inupiat bowhead subsistence whaling rights, and to request that the United States object to the IWC bowhead subsistence whaling moratorium, it was regarded by other conservationist organizations present to testify against an objection to be a major defection from the powerful D.C. Conservation lobby that was expected to support the National Marine Fisheries Service's efforts to ban Inupiat subsistence whaling. However, it appeared by deadline to have been merely leadership in a direction being taken by many other national and Alaskan conservationists, who have agreed with the Inupiat thesis that subsistence whaling is a necessary link in the Arctic food chain, and that the Inupiat are a necessary part of the natural Arctic ecological system along the Arctic coast of the United States. FOE has been joined by The Alaska Conservation Society, the Alaska Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Fairbanks Center for the Environment, and the Alaska Center for the Environment in Anchorage. The NSB hopes that this support from major environmentalist organizations will continue and build strength to become an important political coalition in support of the NSB's entire regional conservation and environmental security program.

Efforts to forge this kind of cooperation began in 1975, and came to bubble when NSB Mayor Eben Hopson met with the leadership of several National conservationist organizations at the D.C. Sierra Club headquarters in July, 1976. At that time, it appeared that the FOE were the best organized to help with Alaskan problems, with Jim Kowalski working full time to manage FOE affairs in Alaska, and Pam Rich working full time on Alaska land and resources politics in Washington, D.C. The NSB decided to funnel information to the conservationist community through Kolwaski and Rich. When the NSB chartered a jet to bring Greenlandic and Canadian delegates and observers to Barrow last June for the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, Pam Rich was on board as an important invited observer, and she played an important part in the work of the Conference. Since returning from Barrow to D.C., Rich worked hard to explain the Inupiat position to reluctant conservationists who had been influenced by the NMFS to regard Inupiat subsistence whaling very little differently than commercial whaling, and convincing the FOE board in D.C. to break what appeared to be solid conservationist ranks in support of the NMFS was a difficult, uphill fight.

The NSB's efforts to organize a strong cooperation with conservationists was inspired by the successful model provided by the Inuvialuit of the Canadian Western Arctic. There the Committee for Original Peoples Entitlement (COPE), under the leadership of Sam Raddi, has developed a strong working relationship with the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee (CARC), a prestigious national environmentalist organization which published Oil Under the Ice to reveal Canada's feckless Arctic oil development policy that threatens U.S. Arctic Coastal Zone environmental security due to the characteristics of the powerful Beaufort gyre. The NSB hopes to be able to work with national environmental organizations to bring public attention to the need for sound national and international Arctic policy development.


72 whaling crew captains from around the Arctic Coast gathered in Barrow on August 29th to discuss the IWC subsistence bowhead whaling moratorium, and develop defensive strategy. They were convened through the cooperation of the NSB, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, and the Barrow Whaling Captains Association. It was an historic event that was completely ignored by the press. The whaling captains organized the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, and authorized NSB Mayor Eben Hopson to speak for the Commission at the Washington, D.C. National Marine Fisheries Service EIS hearings. The Commission charged Hopson to be both open and firm about their intentions to whale next spring, moratorium or no. It is expected that the new Whaling Commission will be the vehicle for the development of any subsistence whaling regulations that might be developed given reliable evidence for their need. The NMFS, caught in political storms of reaction to its work leading to the IWC moratorium, and under fire for having no reliable way of mutually respectful communications with the whaling captains, see the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission as evidence of progress toward cooperative management being sought by the International Whaling Commission, the absence of which may have caused the IWC to call for the moratorium in the first place. The NSB regards the organization of the Eskimo Whaling Commission to be an important milestone in Arctic Coastal Zone Management. It could pioneer in the complex politics of management of subsistence resources both on shore and off.


In a dinner meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Patsy Mink, 9/23/77, NSB Washington, D.C. Liaison Charles Edwardsen learned that the Government is embarrassed by the entire Bowhead subsistence moratorium affair, and would like to get through it without objecting to the IWC moratorium, but also without banning bowhead subsistence whaling. By deadline it appeared that negotiations are underway with the IWC Scientific Committee to re-examine the entire issue in November. and that the Government might try to delay its response until the matter is laid before the IWC next summer in London. There is conjecture that Patsy Mink might replace William Aaron as U.S. Commissioner to the IWC, and there is talk of appointing an Inupiat to serve as Deputy U.S. Commissioner. Edwardsen's opinion is that Asst. Sec. Mink takes seriously the NSB's call for national Arctic Policy development, and the bowhead issue has served to bring this need into sharp focus, and has brought other Arctic environmental problems to Mink's attention. Edwardsen feels on the basis of his conversation with Mink that the NSB's Arctic Coastal Zone Management Program may get the help it needs as a result of top-level attention to the Arctic caused by the bowhead whaling controversy.


The Governor's press release described his visit to Barrow to testify in support of subsistence whaling as the first trip to Barrow by a governor not involved in an election campaign, but whatever, NSB officials are glad he came to Barrow when he did. As a result of his meeting with NSB and ASRC officials in the Borough's Assembly Chambers on Sunday afternoon, 9/11/77, in spite of the best efforts of Associated Press, strong foundations for good cooperation between Governor Hammond and NSB Mayor Eben Hopson were laid at the two-hour meeting in which Hopson set a tone that enabled everyone to speak strongly and frankly about the many problems between the NSB and the State of Alaska. Hammond promised to help the Borough with its State land selections at Prudhoe Bay, and help with any legislative program aimed at full restoration of the North Slope Borough's revenue authority lost in the special oil session of the State Legislature called by former Governor Egan in 1973.

Governor Hammond is a former Borough Mayor and has always insisted that he supports the NSB in its efforts to regain full revenue authority, and the NSB is inclined to believe him. The meeting in Barrow, which included Attorney General Avrum Gross; Public Safety Commissioner Richard Burton; and other top staff aides, enabled frank exchange that cleared lines of communication that had been neglected in the past because of distrust. The Barrow meeting with Hammond was followed up with a meeting between Hammond and Lewis Dischner, the NSB's Juneau lobbyist, where Hammond instructed his staff to cooperate fully in aligning the NSB's legislative program with his own. The NSB, which has had to resort to last-minute parliamentary maneuvers to pass its legislative program through previous sessions of the legislature, will now be able to depend upon the Governor's office to help pass legislation badly needed by the NSB if rural Alaska is ever to be permitted to develop strong local government.


In a memorandum to NSB Mayor Eben Hopson, NSB Planning Director Herb Bartel listed 14 projects under way as of August 30th, 1977. Several CZM-related projects are included on the list.


Cooperating Agency

National Petroleum Reserve -- A Historic and Cultural
Sites inventory

National Park Service,Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation

NPR-A Land Use Plan

Bureau of Land Management Arctic

Coastal Management Inventory (Traditional use/ developmental risk inventory maps, Beaufort Sea OCS area)

Environmental Information and Data Center, U. of A.

Coastal Management Plan (Beaufort Lease sale area)

Alaska Department of Community and Regional Development; Alaska Consultants, Inc.

Beaufort Sea Lease Sale Economic Analysis

Alaska Department of Community and Regional Development; Alaska Consultants, Inc.

D-2 Land Classification Plan

Alaska Consultants, Inc.

North Slope Borough Community Survey

Institute of Social and Economic Research, U. of A.

Analysis of NSB Jurisdiction and Alternatives: Fairbanks -Prudhoe Bay Haul Road

Borough Land Use Ordinance Governing Major Resource Development Projects

Overall Economic Development Plan

Department of Commerce, Economic
Development Administration

Wainwright Master Plan

Alaska Consultants, Inc.

Wainwright Soil Survey

USDA soil Conservation

Barrow Off-System Roads Project

Alaska Department of

Barrow Public Transportation Demonstration Project

Alaska Dept. of Transportation; U.S. Dept. of Transportation

Karl Elias Olsen, Principal of Knud Rasmussen Hojskole, Sisimiut, Greenland. Olsen was a principal architect of the agenda of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. Olsen has been a strong advocate of Inuit Circumpolar Unity, and is prominent in the Greenland Homerule movement. His is the only Locally controlled school in Greenland and has been designated a Greenland cultural institute by the Greenland Land Council, the provincial legislature. -- photo by Roderick


Alaska Governor Jay Hammond announced his appointment of a 16-member State Coastal Policy Council, and an initial, introductory meeting of the CZM policy board was scheduled for September 29, 1977. The new Coastal Policy Council is made up of seven of the Governor's cabinet, and 9 elected local government officials from coastal communities. NSB Mayor Eben Hopson was one of the local government officials appointed to the Coastal Policy Council. The others were Nome City Councilman Robert Fagerstrom; St. Mary's City Councilman Stanley Paukan; Kodiak Borough Assemblywoman Betty Wallin; Anchorage Municipal Assemblywoman Lidia Selkregg; Kenai Borough Mayor Donald Gilman; Cordova City Councilman Malcolm Islieb; Juneau Borough Assemblyman Roger Allington; and Hydraburg Mayor Robert Sanderson. Each member will be allowed to name an alternate. With the lack of any important work on the agenda for the first meeting of the Coastal Policy Council, NSB Mayor Eben Hopson decided to send his assistant, Jon Buchholdt, as his alternate. The NSB hopes to convince the Coastal Policy Council to organize a strong Coastal Zone Management program from parts that already exist, such as the Federal/State Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program; the State's oil and gas leasing program; the Federal/State Land Use Planning Commission; the Federal/State National Petroleum Reserve -- Alaska Task Force, and other State and Federal Programs already involved in coastal zone land and resource management in the Arctic and throughout the State. The NSB would like to see the Coastal Policy Council to get involved with the Beaufort near shore and OCS lease and exploration programs; the development of Alaska/Canadian Arctic caribou research and management cooperation; the concept of aboriginal offshore jurisdiction as part of Native subsistence hunting rights; and the development of coastal zone leasing regulations.


Twenty-two whaling captains from Gambell and Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, traveled to Barrow to attend the Alaska Whaling Captains' meeting Sept. 26. The Gambell Boat Captains Association also met in Barrow to pass the following resolution:

Whereas we the people of Gambell, living in common bond from time immemorial in present Geographical location, Gambell, Alaska, and Whereas our livelihood has been and still is dependent on the sea animal for food, clothing, equipment, and shelter, and

Whereas we the people of Gambell upon learning the bowhead whale has been identified as endangered species, and may be classified a depleted species and will no longer be hunted, and

Whereas our traditional ways and life style will be effected in our religious and customary traditions and practices and we the people of Gambell depend on the whale for (muktuk) for food and many customary (ceremonial) purposes and special community and family dinners, and

Whereas the sinew of the whale is used to sew our boat skins together, and to date nothing better has been discovered in its place, and

Whereas as our toboggans used for hauling other game meats home are made from baleen of the whale, and

Whereas the keel runners of our boats are made from the Whale ribs and jawbones, and

Whereas we use the oil from the whale blubber for many purposes, and

Whereas we the people of Gambell hunting whale from time immemorial catch an average of two whales annually, and

Whereas the catch amount would not greatly affect the whale population; and

Therefore, the people of Gambell are opposed to the proposed ban on subsistence taking of bowhead whales. We urge the National Oceanographic Administration to recognize the vital importance of the bowhead whale culturally and dietarily, and to recognize the severe economic hardship such a ban would cause. Such a needless ban, as suggested here, threatens the destruction of our way of life.


Tom Garrett is a Washington, D.C. lobbyist employed by the Defenders of Wildlife, a respected national wildlife conservation organization. He also serves as Deputy U.S. Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission. His testimony before the Bowhead subsistence whaling moratorium EIS hearings in Washington, D.C. 9/8/77 introduced two important words into the debate between those who advocate or oppose U.S. objection to the IWC moratorium: "bastard" and "autochthonous", and his use of these words in his testimony brings back memories of notions of relative ethnic purity that surfaced briefly in last year's presidential election campaign.

Garrett's testimony presents an interesting review of the international politics of commercial whaling. He illustrated his narrative by quoting a Japanese newspaper article that appeared the day after the IWC reduced commercial whaling quotas in Canberra last June. The article explained that the Whaling Industry has insufficient political strength to force the Japanese government to object to the new IWC quotas because "America's opposition to whaling is based on President Carter's policy" and that a Japanese objection would "cause friction between Japan and the U.S., and that will spur criticism of trade with Japan." Garrett went on to say that an objection by the U.S. to the IWC bowhead subsistence moratorium would result in a rash or other objections from whaling nations hurt by the lowered commercial quotas. He also threatened massive political retaliation by "elements of the conservation community" that will seek "Congressional action designed to eliminate many of the special hunting and fishing rights which the native people now enjoy," if the U.S. should file an objection to the bowhead subsistence moratorium. Responding to questions by the hearing officer, Garrett had this to say about subsistence hunting and subsistence hunting rights:

MR. GARRETT: Let me say something about subsistence hunting. You know, the League of Nations in the 1931 Convention for the regulation of whaling is still listed as a treaty in force. That convention, as of January of this year, specifically prohibits the use of firearms in aboriginal whaling. It is clear that as parties to that convention, we have been flouting that particular international agreement for many years.
HEARING OFFICER DOLAN: Well, I think the domestic implementing legislation for the '31 convention was repealed.
MR. GARRETT: But nonetheless the treaty remains in force, and one assumes since the treaty is in force that some of the contents are implicitly included. In any case, it is quite true that the '36 enabling legislation was repealed.
HEARING OFFICER DOLAN: So you have any other comments on the regulation of subsistence hunting and the history of it?
MR. GARRETT: I would like to make a comment. I noticed in the last issue of Alaska magazine a statement by Arnold Brower -- I don't suppose Arnold Brewer regards me as a friend, but I have to regard Arnold Brewer as a friend until he knocks me over the head or something. Arnold Brower said that "We have not depleted the bowhead whale." He is quite right. The Eskimos did not deplete the bowhead whale stocks. It was depleted initially by commercial whalers. Even if the bowhead stocks is now being depleted, it isn't being depleted by Eskimos in the sense that Arnold Brewer uses the term "we," because it's not a hunt that's being conducted by Eskimos in tune with their autochthonous cultural roots. Rather, I think the increasing hunt is evidence of the dissolution of the Eskimo culture. I believe the hunt, as it is present being conducted, and its current expansion, are in fact nothing more or less than a function of dissolution of the Eskimo culture, which is tragic but which is none-the-less happening.
HEARING OFFICER DOLAN: What's the basis for that?
MR. GARRETT: Well, in the first place, the mode of whaling is not aboriginal. The mode of whaling is hybridized. It has elements of the original commercial whaling conducted in the area of the 1850s until 1921, or whenever the last coastal whaling for commercial reasons terminated. It uses the same archaic devices, the shoulder gun, and it is less efficient, of course, than the commercial whaling. Nonetheless, this is a sort of bastard culture, not used in the pejorative sense, of the methods that the commercial whalers brought in and the original Eskimo methods.
I think it's becoming increasingly degraded now because it's not being conducted even as it was being conducted fifteen or twenty years ago. Wastage is increasing; the blubber is no longer being utilized; the use of the shoulder gun, which the commercial whalers regarded as wasteful and which most of the captains forbade, most of the time at least, until after the animal had been hit with a harpoon, is increasing constantly; and inexperienced people are going out. Obviously the situation is out of control and obviously reflects less and less the autochthonous traditions of the Eskimo peoples.
HEARING OFFICER DOLAN: If there are no further questions, thank you very much, Mr. Garrett.
MR. GARRETT: I was expecting someone to nail me, but I guess they're not going to. (laughter. )

Garrett's testimony is quoted in the Newsletter because it fairly reflects what he and NOAA's William Aaron have been telling the IWC and the IWC's Scientific Committee about the sanctity of Inupiat aboriginal subsistence whaling rights.
A check with the dictionary determines that "bastard" as Garrett used the word to describe the Inupiat whaling culture, is defined as "not genuine, sham, inferior." In short according to Garrett, not "autochthonous", from the word autothon, "sprung from the land itself; any of the earliest known inhabitants of a place; aboriginal." (Second College Edition, Websters, 1974).

The theme that aboriginal subsistence hunting rights erode through acculturation has been the theme of the American game management industry since its origination in early Colonial America, and Garrett's testimony merely restated an argument that resulted in the near annihilation of Native Americans during the 19th century. The NSB was started to hear this argument being used in public in 1977.


HANS LYNGE RECALLS OLD FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN GREENLAND AND U.S. -- Hans Lynge, (above) senior member of the Greenlandic ICC delegation, observed the historic importance of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference with a poem that recalls the history of an old friendship between his homeland and the United States. The poem was written in English, not translated to English. -- photo by Roderick


Icebergs run aground on shore Melting ice of frozen sea
Moving slowly with current
Sinking fog of springtime
In front of blue sky
Are all familiar to us
The ice-filled sea is visible
Between the towers and the big houses

In the middle of the peaceful settlement
Stars and Strips is fluttering

It is the first time we visit
the land of our protectors in the last war
We feel it consoling to know
That the flag hovers above us
While we are sitting in the conference

Today it is proved
That it was not empty words
When the planners wrote
That the Inuit of Greenland, Alaska and Canada
Are one indivisible people

For the first time
Representatives from the three countries confirmed
That we so loved our countries
That all smaller problems were to be set aside
In order to protect
Our culture environment and concerns

I feel proudness to witness
That we Greenlandic people in good understanding
Take the outstretched hand of Canada and Alaska .

Let the commencing work
Be continued in the same spirit

-Hans Lynge

Click Here for September 1977, Part 2