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Word Count: 1,732
The Makah are a Native Indian tribe who have recently decided to enact their treaty rights and start to hunt for whales These actions have caused an uproar in North America The Natives state that they are not doing anything but exercising their legal rights Opponents to their hunting of whales argue that the Makah are a group of uncivilized and inhumane individuals and that they are harming nature The reportage of the controversy surrounding the Makah can be seen as ethnocentric in many ways Through the language used by the media involved in the controversy one can constantly see the Native people being viewed as inhumane savages In turn this language allows readers to be sent mixed messages about the Makah and their position in the whaling dispute Finally the protestors themselves have contradictory arguments which leads one to question the motivating factors behind their position In order to fully understand the whaling controversy it is necessary to understand the history of the Makah They were a group of Native people who hunted gray whales As a result of their increased trade with the Europeans the white man decided to also enter this hunt for the whale This competition between the Makah and the white man lead to the whale coming close to extinction Due to their love for nature and respect for the whale the Makah decided to voluntarily refrain from hunting whales It is important to note however that in 1855 the Governor of Washington State agreed to the Treaty Of Neah Bay which gave the Makah a right to hunt for whales This is what is at the heart of the controversy The Makah have recently enacted their hunting rights of the whale after seventy years and are now resuming their hunt for whales The Makah reasoning is a relatively simple one In 1946 the gray whale population was 2000 and now their count is over 26000 They believe that
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