Makah denounces illegal whale hunt

Ha-Shilth-Sa, September 13, 2007

Makah harpooner Theron Parker at the Whaler’s Parade in Neah Bay, 1999 - Ha-Shilth-Sa archive photo by David Wiwchar

Neah Bay, Wa. — 

The Makah Tribal Council denounces the actions of those who took it upon themselves to hunt a whale without the authority from the Makah Tribal Council or the Makah Whaling Commission. Their action was a blatant violation of our law and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We are cooperating with the National Marine Fisheries Service in their investigation of this incident and will continue to do so.

The individuals who took part in this act were arrested by Makah enforcement officers and booked in our detention facility. They were released only after meeting the bail requirements set by the court. They will stand trial in our court at a future date.

We had a meeting of the general council of the Makah Tribe to discuss this incident and the membership of the tribe supports our action. The tribe has demonstrated extraordinary patience in waiting for the legal process to be completed in order to receive our permit to conduct a whale hunt. We are a law-abiding people and we will not tolerate lawless conduct by any of our members. We hope the public does not permit the actions of five irresponsible persons to be used to harm the image of the entire Makah tribe.